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The Guy Who Directed 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' Is Now Asking Big Questions About The Universe

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist December 22, 2010 at 7:36AM

Tom Shadyac, the director of “The Nutty Professor,” “Liar Liar,” “Bruce Almighty” and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" is just coming out of an odd few years following his last film, “Evan Almighty.” After a deadly cycling accident, the director sold his 17,000-square-foot mansion in Pasadena, gave away most of his money and possessions, now lives in a trailer park by choice and has spent the past little while putting together a documentary about these experiences and what he's learned in "I Am."
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Tom Shadyac, the director of “The Nutty Professor,” “Liar Liar,” “Bruce Almighty” and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" is just coming out of an odd few years following his last film, “Evan Almighty.” After a deadly cycling accident, the director sold his 17,000-square-foot mansion in Pasadena, gave away most of his money and possessions, now lives in a trailer park by choice and has spent the past little while putting together a documentary about these experiences and what he's learned in "I Am."

A trailer for the film has landed and it's a lot of New Age-y mumbo jumbo, with the long-haired Shadyac wasting a lot of interesting people's time by asking them about how humanity can improve, and discovers along the way that we are all connected. Well, isn't that just a big ol' pile of mushy feel-goodery. This looks kind of ridiculous if not totally manipulative (footage from the Tiananmen Square protests? bombings in Vietnam? really?) and the kind of simplistic hucksterism that fake religious types use to hawk their wares on late night television. Sorry Tom, we're not buying into this.

But hey, if the movie touched you in a very special place, then who are we to stop you? It will hit theaters on February 8, 2011. Official synopsis and trailer below (or in HD at Apple).

I AM, a prismatic and probing exploration of our world, what's wrong with it, and what we can do to make it better, represents Tom Shadyac's first foray into non-fiction following a career as one of Hollywood's leading comedy practitioners, with such successful titles as "Ace Ventura," "Liar Liar," and "Bruce Almighty" to his credit. I AM recounts what happened to the filmmaker after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged a changed man. Disillusioned with life on the A-list, he sold his house, moved to a mobile home community, and decided to start life anew. Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a camera crew, Shadyac embarks upon a journey to discover how he as an individual, and we as a race, can improve the way we live. Appearing on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig, Shadyac meets with a variety of thinkers and doers--remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, and faith--including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch. An irrepressible Everyman who asks many questions but offers no easy answers, he takes the audience to places it has never been before, and presents even familiar phenomena in completely new and different ways.

This article is related to: Tom Shadyac, I Am


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