I Am

Rated 2.0

The title of this film, less a documentary than the hasty first draft of a personal essay, derives from G.K. Chesterton’s famous two-word answer to the question of what’s wrong with the world. But here the asker happens to be the maker of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Bruce Almighty. Curious, right? After a bike accident left him concussed and depressed, director Tom Shadyac began noticing that his wealth and Hollywood success hadn’t made him happy. So he appealed to “significant minds”—including Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, and a kooky guy who measures emotional perception in human heartbeats and might actually be Will Ferrell, among others—for answers. The film’s piled-up platitudes about the prospects of human cooperation aren’t revelatory, but Shadyac’s affable sincerity does have some appeal. Plus, even at his most scientifically and emotionally inquisitive, he still can find room for shots of guys getting kicked in the nuts.