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A massive flop at the US box office, despite the formidable box office pulling power of Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment, this sometimes overly sentimental offering just about sidesteps the 'file under schmaltz' label through the excellent work of the three leads. From the writer of Mrs Doubtfire, The Thomas Crown Affair and now the re-made Freaky Friday, Leslie Dixon gives the ensemble cast some meaty material to chew on (Spacey's damaged Social Studies teacher, Hunt's white trash alcoholic mother and Osment's 11 year-old boy trying to cope with his mother's addiction to alcohol). When Eugene Simonet (Spacey) assigns his class to think of some action that will change the world, Trevor (Osment) devised the 'pay it forward' scheme, whereby he performs some kind of life-changing deed for three people and they in turn 'pay it forward' to three more. It's difficult to find fault with such a simple, good-hearted premise for a movie and in a world where it appears as if the bad is overwhelming the good, we need all the goodness we can get.
I just had to laugh a bit in shock looking at the rather bad ratings Pay It Forward got at Rotten Tomatoes. Can I really be so wrong? I've just washed off all my tears and held my nose real deep into my tissues, I couldn't help it, because this movie was just so great and touching. I can't really say it inspired me to run outside and "pay it forward," but I just really loved the story. And the ending was just awful, I really had to cry. Sometimes I thought - God, this movie's taking really long, how do they still want to go on and keep me interested? But they went on, and I wanted to go on seeing how the story goes. And afterwards I so wished that, when I'm a grandmother one day that Haley Joel Osment will still be around acting in such great movies. He's so great! I mean, Secondhand Lions wasn't exactly a great movie, but I've always loved him as an actor since The Sixth Sense. He's so mature for his age and just an impressive little actor. He was really born to become an actor, I think.

Ah, at least the sales rank of the DVD at Amazon is not as bad as the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. I guess the general public knows how to appreciate this movie.
this movie's tight
I'd like to believe that I have not become so cynical that I am put off by genuine sentiment in a movie. There are some films that are unabashedly naive yet still move and delight me: It's a Wonderful Life and Pleasantville come to mind. But a film has to earn its sentiment with heartfelt emotion and intelligence, and Pay It Forward has neither of those elements. This is a weepy soap opera that begins promisingly and then begins to descend into a cesspool of overbaked scenes and unearned emotion. The premise of the film is courageous because it is so shamelessly earnest: what would happen, the movie asks, if a person did a good deed out of the kindness of their heart, and that inspired others to do likewise? This idea is hatched by an eleven-year old student named Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) who is inspired by his teacher Mr. Simonet (Kevin Spacey) to think of a way to change the world for the better. Trevor comes up with the concept of "paying it forward": a person does something special and helpful for three people, and each of the recipients of the good deed is obligated to help three other people. Ideally, Trevor hopes, this will result in a world of compassion and joy. The problem with Pay It Forward is that it has so little sense of the world we live in: as the film progresses, sequences begin to become more and more melodramatic, and we can clearly feel the movie trying to manipulate us. It's a shame that the mechanics of the film's feel-good agenda get in the way, because Pay It Forward boasts very good performances from Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt (who plays Trevor's mother). Hunt's struggle to cope with two jobs and a demanding son while recovering from alcoholism is probably the most poignant story in the movie...but unfortunately, it is one of many plots in this overstuffed drama. Just as we are beginning to care about the relationship between Mr. Simonet and Trevor's mother, director Mimi Leder cuts away to an unnecessary subplot involving a reporter's quest to discover the origin of the "pay it forward" philosophy. Several scenes involving the reporter (played competently by Jay Mohr) are completely misguided and rob the film of its dramatic integrity. All of these grandiose plotlines converge in a climax that is ill-conceived and shamelessly manipulative. The film wants us to view Trevor as some sort of martyr, but despite Osment's decent performance, I couldn't help but feel that he was a manipulative brat whose efforts to "better the world" were insincere and self-serving. Instead of truly examining the complexities of how difficult it is to do the right thing, Leder is content to turn Pay It Forward into a tearjerker. As a result, any chance the film has at reaching the Capra-esque level it is so clearly striving for is completely lost. At the core of the movie is an intriguing (if naive) idea about how we can try to improve the world we live in. I have taken up Trevor's challenge and done my good deed...by warning people not to see this film. Now it's your turn to pay that message forward.

(BASIC)
I really loved Pay It Forwards cast and story line, a very powerful movie in my opinion.
7.50/10
Quite good indeed.. Never wanted to watch is because i thought it would be really dumb. I was quite wrong. It was just really bad because we watched this in school n I cry at movies. I held it in thought thank god.
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DIDN'T CARE FOR IT, DIDN'T BUY THE PREMISE. TOO SPIRITUAL FOR MY TASTE. A BIG DISSAPPOINTMENT, ESPECIALLY FROM KEVIN SPACEY. WAY OVERLY SENTIMENTAL AND SAPPY.
In our world helping other people is perhaps important we can do. Children are ones who often teach us how to behave in certain unpleasant circumstances. It is not only a moving story but everybody who sees this film stops for a moment or more and think over meaning of life. One of best American films I have ever seen with lots of good actors. Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt are wonderful. This film has not got happy ending like it often happens in life. It is not a stupid story.