Pay It Forward VHS
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Based on a best-selling novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde and boasting the star power of two Oscar winners and a young nominee--Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment--PAY IT FORWARD spins a heartwarming yarn about an 11-year-old boy who comes up with an utopian idea as a project for school. History teacher Eugene Simenot (Spacey) offers the same ongoing extra-credit assignment he has proffered every year: Come up with an idea that will change the world. However, he expects nothing more from his students than halfhearted efforts that fall far shy of their mark. Simenot is therefore unprepared for precocious, irrepressible Trevor McKinney (played with wide-eyed wonder by Osment), who conjures up a stunning scheme. Trevor suggests the concept that every person who benefits from someone else's good deed should "pay it forward," instead of paying it back, and in turn offer favors to three other people. The first guinea pig for Trevor's experiment is his overworked, imperfect mom (Helen Hunt) for whom he tries to find a boyfriend.Director Mimi Leder, best known for such powerful thrillers as DEEP IMPACT, imbues the solid script of PAY IT FORWARD with a more grandiose aura. However, it is the movie's triumvirate of heralded stars--Spacey, Hunt, and Osment--that propels this compelling yarn.
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This movie has many unexpected twists and turns as the life story of many people begin to unravel in explanation of the secrets each pocesses. Incredible performance by a bright young actor in a very well written story. Assisted by co-stars Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, both of whom portray their characters in their usual professional manner, the story comes to life in a way that is certain to touch the heart of every viewer. A very thought provoking movie which this reviewer finds quite refreshing and unique. There are a few things I would like to have seen a bit different, such as perhaps a little less use of profanity, but for the most part I give this movie a big two thumbs up. Sometimes I think we forget that not everyone's life is the life of a status-quo normal person in search of the great American dream. This film, unlike others does not glamourize drugs, alcoholism, crime and violence. It merely exposes it in a manner that reminds the viewer that such a way of life exists in today's world for a lot of people who have found themselves in situations that went a little further over the edge than they intended to go, and need a helping hand to turn things around. I highly recommend this movie for your viewing enjoyment and dare you not to be touched by it's impact.
My son loved it as much as I do. It is a testament to the power of this film that it has a timeless message. And I was glad that my son cried at the end (if he didn't, I would be worried about his sensitivity as a person!).