Pay it Forward (2000)

PAY IT FORWARD, as the hot-air ads trumpet, pairs Oscar winners Kevin 
Spacey and Helen Hunt with wee nominee Haley Joel Osmont (THE SIXTH 
SENSE).  They play, in reverse order, a smart, smart-assed, Las Vegas 
middle-schooler, his casino-working, cocktail-waitress single mom, and 
the lad's stern, facially scarred social studies teacher (Spacey with 
enough make-up to model for "Gray's Anatomy").  The school year's just  
started and the Spacey's character's kids have been challenged to con-
ceive an idea that'll change the world.  So Ozzy's character does just 
chat, envisioning a goodwill program that pays people *forward* with 
favors.  Let's see, Mom's also a drunk, the kid's *mad* at Mom about 
being a drunk, and there looks be romance on the not-so-distant hori-
zon.  The catch is that S/H/O are only *half* stars in the movie.  Or, 
maybe, two-thirds stars.  The rest of the story unfolds four months 
forward, as Jay Mohr's blandly bland reporter begins investigating a 
chain of bizarre favor-giving.  Back and forth we go, not a lot, but 
enough to annoy.  Especially when select scenes seem hardly real, like 
an absurdly played E.R. encounter.  The three principal characters are 
immediately interesting, though their actions and interactions are not 
always believable, either.  I lasted an hour, minus however many min-
utes were missed due to extended eyelid closure.  Must say, it might 
just've been worth the price of admission to see Hunt's portrayal of  
Death Warmed Over, her frazzled, bleached-blonde press-curls hiding  
turquoise-smeared eye-shadow.  Yikes!  Mimi Leder (DEEP IMPACT) di-
ects.  (Rated "PG-13"/122 min.) 

Grade: W/O

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros