You've probably seen at least one movie directed by Tom Shadyac—perhaps the Robin Williams melodrama Patch Adams, or the Eddie Murphy remake of The Nutty Professor, or one of Jim Carrey's blockbusters like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar Liar, or Bruce Almighty. And then came the 2007 box-office bust of Evan Almighty. Shadyac has yet to make another major motion picture since.
So what happened to one of Hollywood's top comedic directors? Shortly after Evan Almighty, Shadyac was involved in a near-fatal bike accident that left him with a broken hand, a nasty concussion, severe depression—and a new perspective on life. He eventually sold his mansion, abandoned his ritzy lifestyle, and moved into a mobile home community in Malibu; he now rides his bike everywhere, including to a teaching gig at nearby Pepperdine University. Some are calling him crazy, but Shadyac would tell you he sees things more clearly now and is simply living out his faith.
After recovering from his bike accident—and the depression and mood swings typical of post-concussion syndrome—a renewed Shadyac rounded up a small camera crew and went around the world in search of the answers to two questions: What's wrong with our world? And what can we do about it? The result is I Am, a fascinating documentary that takes the viewer on the journey right along with Shadyac.
The director interweaves his own story with interviews of several famed scientists, authors, and thinkers, including Lynne McTaggart, Thom Hartmann, Noam Chomsky, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, David Suzuki, the late Howard Zinn, and Shadyac's father Richard, who helped found and develop St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
I Am is less about Shadyac's radical lifestyle change than ...1
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