Pay It Forward



US 2000
dir Mimi Leder
scr Leslie Dixon, based on novel by Catherine Hyde Ryan
cin Oliver Stapleton
stars Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr
122 minutes

The worst film of the year stars Osment as Trevor, a Vegas schoolkid challenged to ‘change the world’ by his disfigured teacher (Spacey.) He comes up with an idea – do a spontaneous favour for three other people, who must then do the same, and so on across the world… Pay It Forward is two insufferable hours of sanctimonious, pernicious Hollywood mush: anybody who drinks is an alcoholic, and probably violent; society’s problems will be magically solved by individual whims. And why stop at just three generous acts? If the plot wasn’t offensive enough, Leder’s ham-fisted direction insults the audience’s intelligence at every turn, right up to the jaw-droppingly schmaltzy finale. “Is the world just shit?” sobs the brat. No, Trevor, just your movie.

For a more in depth analysis of why this is the worst film of the year click here

22nd January 2001