I Am: The Best-Funded New Age Documentary of the Year


I Am
Directed by Tom Shadyac
Opens March 18

If you’re going to see one New Age vanity documentary this year, it might as well be the best-funded New Age vanity documentary of the year. Though comedy director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty) here embarks on a spiritual path that has him shedding mansions and private jets, his deep-pocketed budget shows little of that austerity. The shaggy-haired Shadyac suffered a 2007 bicycle crash that left him with post-concussion syndrome; shaken and depressed, he sets out to diagnose what ails the world and how to fix it. Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky are among the boldface-name philosophers he interviews, but their voices are soon drowned out by a torrent of pseudoscience from experts at places like the Institute of HeartMath and the Institute of Noetic Sciences. We’re all connected, you see, because of magnetic fields and DNA! We can possibly predict the future three to five seconds before it happens! Embellished with a lot of CG, supporting clips, and lovely stock footage, I Am’s basic tenets are hardly ridiculous: What’s so funny about empathy, compassion, and love? Shadyac, looking like the lost triplet of Kenny G. and Al Yankovic, cheerfully indicts his own overconsumption first. And to illustrate our capacity for empathy, I Am offers a quick America’s Funniest Home Videos–style montage of crotch-kicks and nut-punches. There, at least, Shadyac hasn’t lost his touch.

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I just watched Tom Shadyac on Oprah. I think the cynicism comes from the fact that he thinks downsizing to a place that is still a thousand times nicer than where most people live gives off a distinctive smell of naivete, at the least. Also, the fact that he presents himself as someone who completely changed his life yet still chooses to make inane - but of course highly successful, financially - movies is not walking the walk. Just IMHO. I've known too many people who were hugely successful and yet truly are humble, and do walk the walk, to buy this guy's schtick. For one thing they don't go on Oprah and proclaim what they're doing to the world. They only go on TV to solicit help for their programs,like the woman from the World Food Program I also saw on TV tonight, on Letterman.She's doing the real work, on the ground in Somalia, Haiti, et al. And the only reason she went on TV was to seek help to feed the dying children. If I never hear another story about some wealthy person who trumpets how he/she "gave it all up" to help the world, it will be one more than I'd ever care to hear again.


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Why is there such cynicacism about this movie? That is really disappointing. This review is exactly what is WRONG with the world. The relentless shredding of anyone who dares to examine how the human race can actually have some hope!.

This movie was NOTHING like THE SECRET (which was a "positive thinking movement" materialistic farce).

Whenever I see or hear the word "psuedoscience" I am beginning to get an idea about a group of people who probably pride themselves on how "smart" and 'rational" they are. Yet you all are a bunch of mere "debunkers" of the Michael Shermer variety. I have NOTHING against to rational or critical thinking or the promotion of the Trivium, but as the movie discusses we are NOT mere machines that robotically move through our existance. We have choices.

I saw this movie last night and I was moved. The message that we ARE connected IS an important one.. especially in a world where the Ayn Randians "selfishness is a virtue" and "individuality" and rampant consumeristic and uber hyper wealth is becoming a greater threat to humanity! There is another way.. and I highly recommend watching this movie to counter the prevailing climate that the "tea party/GOP Kochsian" energies are trying to promote!.

We don't have to be selfish we can reclaim our world . and it doesn't mean we have to be vapid "white lighter New Age THE SECRET" individuals to do it.!

You have totally misintrepreted this film. .I am not surprised though. I had an inkling that SOMEONE would try and tear it down.. that is all critics do...


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