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Pay It Forward [2000 film] by Mimi Leder

Pay It Forward [2000 film] (2000)

by Mimi Leder (Director), Leslie Dixon (Screenwriter)

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Haley Joel Osment plays Trevor, who starts a chain reaction of goodness for his social studies project in this bittersweet and uplifting tale.
  Workerscollege | Sep 4, 2015 |
Pay It Forward is a multi-level marketing scheme of the heart. Beginning as a seventh-grade class assignment to put into action an idea that could change the world, young Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) comes up with a plan to do good deeds for three people who then by way of payment each must do good turns for three other people. These nine people also must pay it forward and so on, ad infinitum. If successful, the resulting network of do-gooders ought to comprise the entire world. Trevor's attempts to get the ball rolling include befriending a junkie (James Caviezel) and trying to set up his recovering-alcoholic mother (Helen Hunt) with his burn-victim teacher (Kevin Spacey), who posed the assignment.
While this could have turned into unmitigated schmaltz, the acting elevates this film to mitigated schmaltz. By turns powerful and measured, the performances of Spacey, Hunt, and Osment can't make up for the many missteps in a screenplay that sanitizes the look of the lower-middle class and expects us to believe that homeless alcoholics and junkies speak in the elevated manner of grad students. (Can that really be Angie Dickinson as Hunt's dispossessed mother? Yes, it is!) The germ of the story is a good one, though, and one may wonder how it would have been handled by the likes of Frank Capra, who could balance sentiment with humor. But clearly Capra would never have let the ending of his version to take the nosedive into cliché and pathos that director Mimi Leder has allowed in this film. More than a few viewers will also recognize that Leder has blatantly borrowed her final image from Field of Dreams, where its intended effect was more keenly and honestly felt. --Jim Gay (Amazon.com)
  ircpasabuja | Oct 18, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leder, MimiDirectorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dixon, LeslieScreenwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bon Jovi, Jonsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickinson, Angiesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunt, Helensecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hyde, Catherine RyanOriginal booksecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Osment, Haley Joelsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spacey, Kevinsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This is the movie, not the book. Please don't combine the two.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0790756803, DVD)

Directed by Mimi Leder - Starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment Warner Home Video - Rated PG13 - 123 min - Childhood Drama

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:13 -0400)

When a young man starts "paying it forward" for a social studies project, unusual things happen in this bittersweet and uplifting tale.

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