Viewing Guide I Am Sam Principle cast: Sam Dawson—Sean Penn Rita Harrison—Michelle Pfeiffer Lucy Dawson—Dakota Fanning Annie Cassell—Dianne Wiest Margaret Calgrove—Loretta Devine Mr. Turner—Richard Schiff Randy Carpenter—Laura Dern 1. How do the characters of Sam and Rita show the deficiencies of the stereotype society has in deciding who makes a “good” parent? 2. Why is Child Protective Services not threatening to take away Willy, Rita’s son? 3. Is Sam a good parent? Why or why not? (use examples from the film) 4. Was the government justified in taking Lucy away from Sam? Explain. (use examples from the film) 5. Why is society so much more accepting of Rita’s compulsive behaviors but not Sam’s disability?