Pay It Forward
Good Friday at 8.10pm
Pay It Forward
Cast: Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey
Director: Mimi Leder
Oscar winners Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt join Oscar-nominee Haley Joel Osment for this drama about one boy's attempt to change the world.
Arlene McKinney (Hunt) is a single mother hanging on by her fingertips, working two jobs, and struggling to raise her son, Trevor (Haley Joel Osment). She is trying to give him a new life, but in her absence, she is losing him.
Every year, Trevor's social studies teacher Eugene (Spacey), a man scarred both physically and emotionally gives class an assignment: Think of an idea that will change the world and put it into action.
The apparently wise-beyond-his-years Trevor comes up with a notion surrounding good deeds, where every time someone does something nice for you, do three nice things for three separate other people. Hence the title.
While Arlene and Trevor battle their own personal problems, Trevor's plan somehow takes hold. The idea comes to national prominence when a journalist named Chris Chandler (Jay Mohr) is given a sports car on the spot when his is totalled. Trevor is also trying to apply to idea at home by bringing his mother and his teacher together.
Pay It Forward is an interesting attempt at a socially conscious feel-good story in the classical mode. It features a notable supporting cast in Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ), Jon Bon Jovi and Angie Dickenson.
Dave White from IFilm observed that the film has "Moving performances and an overwhelmingly earnest quality that dares you to be cynical", while James Sanford from the Kalamazoo Gazette (yes, the Kalamazoo Gazette) said the Kalamazoo Gazette said "even if you don't buy the idea... it's still quite possible to enjoy the movie as a love story involving two badly damaged souls."