The premise of Tom Shadyac's latest film,'I Am,' about a man who bangs his head and suddenly begins ridding himself of possessions and money, sounds perfectly in tune with the director's past works. But unlike 'Evan Almighty,' 'Patch Adams,' 'The Nutty Professor,' 'Liar Liar' and other high-concept comedies he's helmed, this one is a fairly serious first-person documentary. And it's based on his own spiritual awakening following a cycling accident and subsequent post-concussion recovery during which his "brain had lost the ability to filter things out."
In an interview with Patrick Goldstein at the L.A. Times blog The Big Picture, Shadyac talks candidly about his decision to sell his mansion three years ago and move into a trailer home, in addition to giving most of his money and possessions away. With 'I Am,' he goes through a related process of self-discovery while also exploring the materialistic nature of man. In Goldstein's words, why we're "more like Donald Trump than Gandhi." Shadyac also quotes Gandhi's famous line, "you have to be the change you wish to see in the world."