Sam Dawson has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. He works at a Starbucks and is obsessed with the Beatles. He has a daughter with a homeless woman, she abandons them as soon as they leave the hospital. He names his daughter Lucy Diamond, and raises her. But as she reaches age 7 herself, Sam's limitations start to become a problem at school, she's intentionally holding back to avoid looking smarter than him. The authorities take her away, and Sam shames high-priced lawyer Rita Harrison into taking his case pro bono. In the process, he teaches her a great deal about love, and whether it's really all you need.
Character Error When Annie is teaching Sam when to feed Lucy and they are talking about what "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is about, Annie says "But John Lennon said, it was about a friend of his son Julian Lennon's from school - Lucy O'Connell". The real girl's name was "Lucy O'Donnell".
Continuity In the very beginning shot, when Sam is sorting sugar packets in the holders, he puts the brown "raw sugar" packets in front. When he is shown setting the holders on the tables, the brown packets are in the middle.
Factual Mistake Credits list "starbucks barrister" instead of "barista".
As preparation for his role, Sean Penn visited L A Goal, a center in Los Angeles for Mentally Handicapped persons.
At the Foster Home, even though a perfectly good bed is available to Lucy, she sleeps in a hammock in the corner of her room, much like the crib Sam made for her.
Dakota Fanning's little sister, Elle Fanning played her at age 3.
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