This review was not like to happen without the humble request by one Samie G. and her support of the site. Shout out to Samie and this is for you!
Back in the days when Haley Joel Osment was still warming our hearts with his remarkable skill, even at the tender age of 11, we are treated with a film whose intentions are strong and ocassionally efficient. Also starring in the film is the great Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt as Osment’s social studies teacher and Hunt as his troubled, struggling mother. Osment’s teacher (Spacey) gives an assignment that requires the children to come up with an idea to change the world and with Trevor (Osment) deciding on a “pay it forward” plan.
Going through a chain of events that lead to another throughout the film you can see where the great ideas lie in the film and they tend to show themselves quite a bit, but not before the overly dramatic tendencies take the plot as it’s victim. If you want a film that mixes the classic 90’s romance films with some deep documentary style motives and a Shyamalan type ending that takes you by surprise, you will enjoy Pay It Forward.
Knowing how warm hearted my friend is, I know where her love for this film comes from and it’s from a sincere and helpful place in her heart. The film will touch those with this kind of description more than a guy like me. Though I will admit it does have great arcs on the characters minus a few cliches relating to an abusive parent and some seriously tough monologues on the horrors of abusive and addiction, but it also displays great sincerity with the idea of passing on good deeds and good intentions and that is something I can always get by. Osment’s young Trevor does some pretty crazy things that aren’t really brushed by, but also so intriguing for his young character you are either pulled into his caring nature or you are deterred by the lack of believability.
Once again, you love the idea of the film with passing on good deeds, but it loses something when literally everything comes together once the final act hits the screen. Nonetheless, I was still enjoying myself as the film rolled on giving a Forest Gump like feel to it, only not as impactful as Gump (for me personally). It has some preachy moments for me and will likely feel the same for those who have less fluffy outlooks on life (no offense to the fluffy thinkers out there), but at least they can all say they are better people than me, which they wouldn’t because they’re nice people.
Overall, I can’t say this is my favorite film, but the performances are great and there is a nice cameo from Bon Jovi (as a character) that will make fans clamor, but it somewhat preachy for most people like myself and concludes in a “evening report” kind of way which many of you will likely not enjoy. The message is strong, but the way the film was adapted was weak.