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Pay It Forward
Pay It Forward
Actors: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr, James Caviezel
Director: Mimi Leder
Genres: Drama
PG-13     2001     2hr 3min

HOW MUCH IMPACT CAN ONE HEARTFELT IDEA HAVE? A JUNIOR-HIGHSTUDENT'S CLASS PROJECT IDEA IGNITES A CHAIN REACTION OFGOODNESS AND CONSEQUENCES. THE BOY'S IDEA: WHEN SOMEONE DOESYOU A FAVOR, DON'T PAY IT BACK, PAY IT FORWARD.
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr, James Caviezel
Director: Mimi Leder
Creators: Jonathan Treisman, Mary McLaglen, Paddy Carson, Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Leslie Dixon
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Family Life
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/15/2001
Original Release Date: 10/20/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 10/20/2000
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 21
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Elizabeth R. from ALLENDALE, NJ
Reviewed on 1/22/2011...
I really enjoy this movie. I am using it in my classroom to speak about the power of an individual to change the world.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Nancy W. from CHARLOTTE, NC
Reviewed on 1/9/2011...
Inspiring in every way. We should all learn from it.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Shelia D. from JACKSON, GA
Reviewed on 11/4/2010...
It was a wonderful movie!!! I could watch it over and over!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sharon C. (Sierrastar) from LITTLE ROCK, AR
Reviewed on 8/25/2010...
This is a movie that I think everyone should watch. I cried thruought it but it was one of the better family movies that I have watched in a long time. If only everyone would pay it forward what a better world this would be
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Get ready to cry...
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 03/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is pure sentimental saccharine schmaltz, in the line of Ron Howard yet not as effective or as expertly handled, but I still gobble it up like it were peach cobbler and sob like a baby who lost his binky. I mean, this movie is simultaneously forced and honest, and that is thanks to the splendid acting and the contrived script.

The base prose for `Pay it Forward' is quite simple. A young kid with bid ideas finds that his new teacher has motivated him to put into play a plan that could alter the face of the world. Asked to come up with an idea that could change the world, young Trevor decides that if he were to do something to help three people and those three people helped three other people (and so on and so forth) then the world could be a better place for everyone. Trevor immediately sets his sights on his mother, an alcoholic struggling to take care of her son, and a junkie in need of a fresh start.

Where the film goes wrong, for me, is in trying to make too much of this `idea'. The idea should have been a metaphor for what young Trevor was experiencing at home, in his life, struggling to find something better and pay himself forward so-to-speak. The film tries to go that way in parts (the natural development of his mother, played brilliantly by Helen Hunt, is one thing this film nails) but the way it handles the phenomenon that this idea became kind of relinquishes the effect it should have had to a mere punch line. It loses a lot of its weight and emotional power by spreading it too thin.

Yes, the ending is crafted for the sole purpose of bleeding your tear ducts, but I wouldn't have changed it.

The best thing about this film is, by far, the performances. Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment have all been better, but that doesn't mean that they don't work this material over very well here. Osment has to kind of carry the film, for he needs to sell us on his childlike innocence as well as his matured sense of understanding, and he does so beautifully. Kevin Spacey is an actor who I really like, a lot. He manages to take a gimmicky character (burn victim/inspirational teacher) and make him human (that whole "my father" scene just broke my heart). But, just like in `As Good As It Gets', best in show awards can be showered upon only one person, and that is Helen Hunt. She is outstanding as Trevor's emotionally unstable mother. Her frailties are beautifully tempered by her overly assertive sense of strength. She tries so hard and yet falls so far, and it is seen all over the creases in her face.

The film is as schmaltzy as they come, and it doesn't try to hide that fact. It is designed to do one thing, make you cry, and it does that with ease. I would have loved this subject to have been dissected and tackled with a little more earnest grit (and honest realism), since the performances truly deserved it, but in the end I am more than satisfied with the way this film pans out."