Sam the Man

Sam the Man

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 1st February 2001

Distributed by: IFC Films

Reviews 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 4.2 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: as Shelly, as Ella

Sam the Man Review

Gary Winick's first -- and biggest -- gaffe is in casting uber-nerd Fisher "Johnny Five!" Stevens as a slick lothario that beds countless women. Christening him "The Man" in the film's title is just adding insult to injury.

And so we come to the strange, sad, and rather crass case of Sam the Man, a creepy and just plain wrong romantic dramedy that's got no romance, few laughs, minimal drama, and a parade of hateful characters. Wrap them up in a cheap, out-of-focus, underlit, and inaudible package shot on cheap digital video, and the recipe for disaster is complete. Microwave on high for three minutes.

As near as I can tell, the plot simply follows Sam (Stevens) through one adulterous encounter after another as he cheats on his oblivious but cold and unlikeable fiancee (Annabella Sciorra). He's a novelist with one big hit. Like all good cliched writers, he's unable to get the second book going, and he's so broke he has to sell the art off his walls to pay the rent. That of course doesn't interfere with sleeping around and the self loathing that naturally follows.

I presume Winick had a point when he started with all of this, but hopes of Sam "learning his lesson" or growing in some meaningful way are never realized. He's basically just a shit. Why do we care, especially since we can barely make him out in the darkness Winick chooses to shoot in?

Even the costuming is wrong: In a display of truly terrible decision-making, someone put Stevens in a Stetson that's too big for him.

Skip it.