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Pay It Forward (2000) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • A school social studies assignment leads to social changes that spread from city-to-city. Assigned to come up with some idea that will improve mankind, a young boy decides that if he can do three good deeds for someone and they in turn can "pay it forward" and so forth, positive changes can occur. What appears to initially be a failure, is indeed a success that is not immediately known but is traced backwards by a reporter who is a benefactor. The initial recipients of the boy are a drug addict, his badly scarred school teacher, and a classmate who is constantly bullied by his peers. While physically and mentally scarred by past events, the teacher is not the only one bearing scars. The young boy fears his mother's fate, particularly at his brutal, alcoholic father's hands. The mother also bears scars from her childhood with a homeless, alcoholic mother.

    - Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>
  • A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

    - Written by Anonymous

Synopsis

A 12-year-old schoolboy in Las Vegas, Nevada named Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) is given a class project to complete by his social studies teacher Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey)...

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