Good press, bad press
The Premiere –
The premiere was held in Los Angeles on October 12, 2000.
Kevin attended as well as the other stars of the movie. There was an online live web cast on the Warner Bros. site at about 10PM est. Kevin was interviewed and answered a few questions that were submitted to the site. One of these questions was mine. The woman interviewing Kevin said she had just a few questions and then she’d let him go. Here is my question and Kevin’s answer:
Interviewer to Kevin: “This is your last question and then I’m gonna let you go. This is from Lisa in Elkridge, Maryland … When are you going to direct again?”
Kevin to interviewer:
Eh,he,he (Kevin laughs), well uh, … it is my intention to direct again and I … uh … I know what I’m gonna do and it’s about a year or so away from my actually shooting it … uh … but I will do it again. And uh … probably will again after that.”
Interviewer: “Can you give us any hints?”
Kevin: “Oh, no no. No hints.”
Interviewer: ” Oh, come on Kev …”
Kevin: ” Look, go on … no, I have no dot com. I was gonna say … if I had a dot com …”
Kevin is lead away.
Rumors abound that Kevin and Helen Hunt are romantically involved. Some gossip columnists claim it is a PR stunt for the movie. Not long after the film tanks at the box office items start appearing in the gossip columns about how Kevin is being a cad and standing her up at public functions after she has paid an exorbatant amount of money for hair and makeup. Helen Hunt’s mother tells Parade that they are not dating. Then Helen herself reportedly says this:
Actress Helen Hunt pours cold water on reports linking her to Kevin Spacey, her co-star in this picture Pay It Forward: “I don’t think so. And I should know. … But (we’re) good friends though.” – Montreal Gazette gossip page
A columnist for the Wall Street Journal claims the problems with the filming of the movie had to do with Kevin and Helen Hunt intimidating the director and trying to take over and change the dialogue in the script. Example:
“I don’t want to spend another second of wasted air, you beautiful, lovely, difficult, hilarious woman. Please don’t let me stay trapped in here forever. I’m so exhausted from being so afraid.” ~ Kevin Spacey – Deleted PIF ad-lib as quoted in the Wall Street Journal.
Sometimes movies are better at home than in the theater. Remember when videos were priced for rental first?
Entertainment Weekly home video review
PAY IT FORWARD – Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey (2000, Warner, 123 minutes, PG-13, also on DVD)With its A-list cast (two Oscar winners and a nominee) and New Agey concept, this romantic drama about an altruistic seventh grader, his floozy mom (Helen Hunt), and his scarred teacher stirred up several hives’ worth of prerelease buzz – then got stung by critics and audiences. But on the boob tube, land of the TV movie, its melodramatic lapses seem less glaring; instead, the actors shine, and you get a glimpse of the small, affecting movie this would-be hit could have been. Grade: B Entertainment Weekly, May 18 issue, page 62.
THE NEW YORK TIMES Video Review May 18, 2001 by Peter M. Nichols Pay It Forward Young Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) has the idea: do a good turn for three people, who will do one for three others, and so on. When a cynical reporter (Jay Mohr) profits from such a favor — a stranger suddenly gives him a brand new automobile — he tracks the notion back to Trevor, the boy’s harried mother (Helen Hunt) and the troubled junior high school teacher (Kevin Spacey), a terse man with a burn-scarred face, who helped Trevor nourish the idea at the start. Unfortunately, plausibility vanishes in a film “so enamored of its own upbeat view of human nature that it expects you to overlook its stick-figure characters, its creaky plot machinery and its remorseless assault on your tear ducts” (A. O. Scott). 2000. Warner. $107.37; DVD, $26.98. 122 minutes. Closed captioned. PG-13.
Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company