7.2/10
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Pay It Forward (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 October 2000 (USA)
A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
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4,011 ( 61)

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ON DISC
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ricky McKinney
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Grace
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Woman on Bridge
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Adam
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Bonnie
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Michelle
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Nurse
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Thorsen's Daughter (as Hannah Werntz)
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Storyline

Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Is it possible for one idea to change the world? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,631,359 (USA) (20 October 2000)

Gross:

$33,508,922 (USA) (2 February 2001)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Jaguar owner is played by director Mimi Leder's husband, Gary Werntz. His character's asthmatic daughter is their real-life daughter, Hannah Leder. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning Eugene writes the task on the blackboard, and later in the movie he is cleaning it from other notes and clearly the task given is not on the blackboard. Near the end when doing the interview you can see the task once again written on the blackboard, as if it had never been removed. See more »

Quotes

Arley: I want to wear the green dress.
Trevor McKenney: You look like a vampire in that!
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Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Brian Sings and Swings (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Because I Got It Like That
By Nathaniel Hall and Michael Small
Performed by Jungle Brothers
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Just the Sort of Treacle I Wrote When I Was Eleven
7 August 2001 | by (Atlanta GA) – See all my reviews

This was not a bad film; in fact, it was fairly well done, for what it was. Unfortunately, what it was was emotionally manipulative. Child abuse survivors, cute kids, recovering alcoholic mom working two jobs, this movie had it all. Above all, the director's vision was muddled. "Life is sh*t," says Trevor (Osment); by the end of the film, we can see that life is not sh*t after all. Or is it? The dramatic twist at the end (I won't spoil it for you) seemed to revoke the entire message of the movie. It had no apparent purpose, other than to lead up to the buy-the-world-a-coke, faux-heartwarming finale. The movie was not a total wash, however, as the genuinely solid performances from everyone involved lifted it above the sappy little mess it could have been. Osment is a gifted actor who manages to be a scared, vulnerable kid, without resorting to overt cuteness; he has a wary toughness which makes his performances very believable. Although I am admittedly ambiguous about Helen Hunt, she did turn in a very strong, thoughtful performance in a role that could easily have been one-sided or overplayed. Final analyss: If you like sentimentality, "Pay it Forward" is worth the effort, but it falls far short of a classic.


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