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Pay It Forward (2000)

 -  Drama  -  20 October 2000 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 82,674 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 648 user | 158 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

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Title: Pay It Forward (2000)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Ricky McKinney
...
Grace
...
...
Colleen Flynn ...
Woman on Bridge
...
Adam
...
Bonnie
...
Michelle
...
Nurse
...
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:

Three imperfect people. One perfect idea. 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:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£357,185 (UK) (26 January 2001)

Gross:

ESP 191,771,560 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Haley Joel Osment celebrated his 12th birthday on the set during the last day of shooting. Although Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt had completed their own filming, they turned up on the set just to celebrate his birthday. Coincidentally, Trevor McKinney, the character played by Haley, celebrated his 12th birthday in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Trevor is drawing his "Pay it forward" diagram on the black board, the diagram has clearly already been drawn once and erased. See more »

Quotes

Thorsen: I thanked him and there were some very specific orifices in which I was told to shove my thanks. He told me, "Just pay it forward." Three big favors for three other people. That's it.
Chris: So it's like a pass-it-on thing, then. Wait a minute. You and this lowlife are in this chain of do-gooders, some kind of Mother Theresa conga line? That's a little New-Agey for you, isn't it? Sort of Tibetan? What, are you in a cult?
Thorsen: If you mention my name, you'll be selling your kidneys to pay for your lawsuit. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Cinderella (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

New
By Gwen Stefani and Tom Dumont (as Thomas Dumont)
Performed by No Doubt
See more »

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User Reviews

Despite the shortcomings - well played and at times inspiring

I remember leaving the cinema, feeling very much let down by the end of "Pay it Forward". Watching it recently on television I find myself far more forgiving since it's a movie with a sincere and important message, expressed with conviction. The quasi-religious ending probably will appeal to many, but from an artistic viewpoint, it seems unnecessary and not entirely suited to the tone of the film up to that point.

Kevin Spacey is effective as the suppressed, sensitive teacher, while Helen Hunt is terrific, despite the role being far too close for comfort with her "As Good As It Gets" character. But it's Hailey Joel Osment's wonderful portrayal that gives "Pay It Forward" much of its power. He simply is perfect for the part. (Good to see Angie Dickenson, braving it in the role of a homeless alcoholic).

At its best, this is a film which may just do the impossible: inspiring one to good deeds, without expectation of reward or remuneration. That alone is a substantial achievement.


70 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How can anyone possibly like this movie?? chloen1979
a better ending rutica
now if you got stabbed in the stomach Sensfan1915
Did anyone ever have 7th grade teacher like that? MBasler89
Should be a law... libertess66
from a mother who lost her son goldstalk
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