Fans liked something spacey… mostly

Pay It Forward by #1 fan

I have watched Pay It Forward fourteen times and have cried everytime too. It was a really sad movie and one of his best. Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment, and Kevin Spacey team up in this excellent tear-jerker. Kevin plays a Social Studies teacher who has burn marks on his face and chest. Haley is his student (Trevor) and Helen is Trevor’s mother who is an alcoholic. I am in love with this movie and am so glad that he still makes movies.

Pay It Forward by Tracey

Best movie I have ever seen, I am now a Kevin Spacey fan

Pay It Forward by spaceyfan

Whenever I pop this movie in to my DVD player, there is always one scene I have see:  it is where Kevin is telling Helen about his past, how his father treated him…yes, that random grocery bag scene.  Kevin really draws you in.  Helen backs him up well too.  This scene is pivotal to understanding Eugene’s past, and it is done with much conviction.  Overall, the movie is sappy (still), and I think it’s just Mimi Leder’s style.  Deep Impact was sappy too!  and who cares whether Kevin does not look great because of his scars, it his acting that makes it worth watching!  Helen Hunt indeed is too smart for this drunken role, but she pulls it off well (compared to Mad About You, anybody?)  HJ Osment resorts to his sixth sense voice, only he’s not telling Eugene to see dead people, he asking him to pay it forward. See this movie once (for Kevin, and only Kevin), and then do YOURSELF a favor: don’t see it again.

Pay It Forward by Laurie –
Great movie.

Pay It Forward by Mimi –
Pay It Forward was a very good movie.  Kevin can play any part, and is lovable.

Pay It Forward by Julie Anne

Pay It Foward has got to be the BEST movie I have ever seen, I’ve watched it about 10 million times. Kevin Spacey is without a doubt one of the finest actors that I have ever come across plus he’s cute too 😉 All of his movies are amazing but Pay It Forward is one of my favourites. I hope he’ll continue to do what he does best which is of course acting, until he decides to move onto something different. I’d like to wish him all the sucess in the world and I’d also like to thank him for being such an inspiration to me. Kevin and Helen Hunt are the ones that inspired me to want to act and I’m very thankful to Kevin and Helen for sharing their amazing talent with the world. I will always be one of Kevin’s biggest fans.

Pay It Forward by albastra*stea

The first less action role that he took, Pay It Forward (well, in my opinion!!) was a hit. Apparently, Kev recived some negatives on “his new acting role”, but we should remember that he can take any role and make it better than anyone else could-any role. I think people and critics need some time to just get a feel for his new parts and characters, and over time, learn to accept them a little more and, hopefully, like them. I’m glad Kevin is doing some new stuff…if you always take the same theme in every movie or play, well, it gets old! (not that anything he would ever do could be boring…but with his talent, he should do a variety of roles.) I can understand how going from Verbal Kint to Eugene Simonet can be a big leap, but hey…it’s different!! I think I’m beginning to sound repetitive, so I’ll leave it at that…but I think you get my point. Anybody agree?

Pay It Forward by Jenny

I have read a lot of stuff out there, and I don’t understand why this movie keeps getting slammed. I see it playing on HBO all the time and every time I see it listed, I watch it. I suppose people have complained it’s too “sappy”, which I don’t believe it is, but even if it is, so what? I think K.’s performance was flawless as a man who is afraid to let himself fall in love, and the scene with him and Helen Hunt where he is explaining what his father did to him–WOW. I have seen him in a lot of stuff and I think that scene impressed me as much if not more than any other. If anything, on my list, K-PAX was the loser. In my opinion, that role was beneath him, although his regression scenes were great–all that crying and talking in a childish voice–WOW. I felt those scenes did show his versatility but that is about all. All in all-Pay It Forward may not be a usual choice for him, but it’s one of my favorites!

Pay It Forward by Margie

Let me think for a second here.  After I am done, you all will think that I am the SHALLOWEST HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET.  But I am.  Well, here I go.  Pay it Forward.  I would have enjoyed this movie MUCH more if Kevin had NOT been in it. This should not be on his filmography.  In fact, I do not consider it to be.  It’s a blemish.  I could not stand to watch this movie.  As soon as I saw Kevin I nearly fainted.  Even my friends mother commented, “How did they get Kevin Spacey to look so UGLY?”  I know now- 5 and a half hours of make-up.  Anyway, i nearly fainted.  And this was A BAD kind of fainting, not like the fainting when I saw A Time To Kill and fell in love with Rufus Buckley.  I fainted because KEVIN LOOKED SO HORRIBLE IN PAY IT FORWARD!  I have proved it.  I am shallow.  I couldn’t look behind those horrible burns and see the nice person Eugene Simonet really was.  I feel guilty.  I thought the movie overall was OK.  It was a little too sugary for me..I am a hardcore drama fan..The Usual Suspects (oh, wow!!), and I did cry at the end of the American Beauty screenplay.  The message was good, but the story was missing some elements.  Helen Hunt was good, and so was Haley Joel Osmet.  Jon Bon Jovi would not be my pick for the part, but he did well in it.  I left Kevin’s acting for last.  WEll, he was good.  Yeah..good.  Maybe…great.  He was great in the part, except I am trying to forget that it was him who played Eugene Simonet.  He was very powerful with his emotions, or withdrawn when he needed to.  Anyway, now that you all know how shallow I am, I’ll rate the movie.  3 1/2 stars out of 5.  Kevin..hmmm….ACTING 4.5/5.  APPEARANCE AND CHOICE OF CLOTHING.. 0/5.  Now you know how shallow I am.  Goodbye.

Pay It Forward review by Riley

The first time I tried to watch this film, I couldn’t get past the first 15 minutes.  It was too different from the book.  Last night, I tried again.  I’m glad I did.  The picture really is beautiful, it just doesn’t go out of it’s way to be “pretty.”  Kevin gives such a sweet performance and I was crying at the end of the film.  Perhaps if this film had been released now instead of several months ago, it would have had a better response.  The world seems to have changed in the past week and a film about caring for each other seems more believable now than before.  I highly recommend this film to everyone.

Pay It Forward review by Angelina

This movie touched me in so many ways. It has shown me that the world isn’t just “shit” and that people can be surprising. Someday I would like to pay it forward and give someone that is dear to me a very special gift.

Pay It Forward review by Julie 

Somehow, it seems humanly impossible for there to be people in the world who missed the point, vision and beauty of this film.  I actually wonder if these people actually saw the same movie I did. To say Kevin Spacey did a fabulous job is quite honestly an understatement.  I somehow doubt that many people out there have gone through what his character went through, but I have, and I did. And I’ll tell you what, the way he told that story was more powerful than anything I have seen in a very long time. If you didn’t understand the concept, let me explain it to you. Take a good look at your life, and then look at the 11 years on this earth lived by Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) and honestly ask yourself if you have done more in your lifetime than he did in his, and when you realize you have not, shed your inhibitions, go out into the world, and do something for the betterment of this world in which we all have to live.  Now, if you didn’t get that from the movie …then GO WATCH IT! AGAIN.

Pay It Forward review by Simplilo

Well, I fought my way into a “sneak preview” for this one, only to be somewhat disappointed. Spacey’s character is well-executed as usual (and it is nice to see him playing a nice guy again, instead of another villain) and is very effective as a sensitive and wounded man  coming to terms with himself and his new experiences. Haley Joel is very believable as the student of Spacey’s character – a very honest and real portrayal of a smart, tender young boy. Helen Hunt is again very good, yet not as “well-developed” a character as the others.  (I had some trouble with the transitioning she was supposed to be experiencing, that I felt was not conveyed properly to the audience.) I don’t believe this is the actress’s fault and was however sympathetic to her character, who really pulls it off as a poor, uneducated yet sensitive woman trying to manage.     The main letdown I experienced was that there was something wrong with the STORY and the direction, possibly which I felt lended “too much of something and not enough another” as others have suggested.  Not sure, and maybe I will give it another shot, later.  I also felt the ending was “overdone” even though, touching. I wish I could have something more uplifting to say about this film, but I don’t. – Simplilo

Pay It Forward review
by gabrielle377660

My screen name is gabrielle37660.  I just recently saw the movie Pay It Forward and was astounded, once again, at the performance of Kevin Spacey.  Though I haven’t seen very many of his movies, this by far has to be the best.  He showed so much emotion playing the man who was still trying to deal with the horror that his own father put him through at the age of 16.  Kevin Spacey is in that small category of actors who can move into any range of acting, from this particular movie where he showed his vulnerability, to The Negotiator, where he showed his immense strength and backbone in the face of crisis.  I am fast becoming a big fan of Mr. Spacey’s, and will always look forward to seeing him on the big screen.


Watching it on video this afternoon, after not having seen it since it was in theatrical release, I was not surprised that I (still) liked it. Actually, I can’t understand why it didn’t do better. At the time I remember lots of negative comments, and the word “manipulated” begin bandied about. But, I liked the script and the story. I just did. Maybe I’m just that sappy – not being one of the SURVIVOR or WEAKEST LINK fans…there’s enough acrimony in the world. I’d like to think that genuine kindness and deceny is not something to sneer at. As for the acting, I think Kevin Spacey does a fine job in this film. He has some incredibly funny and winning moments. And maybe, even, not too many Spaceyisms? Tho’ there are a few in there, of course. Good kissing technique, Kevin. Two thumbs way up! Helen Hunt is sadly miscast; she’s way too smart to play this character (even my 11 year old said that – with no prompting from me!). She tends to comment on her character – verbally and emotionally – and it just doesn’t work. Although that scene in the bus stop is very good – I just didn’t buy it. Jay Mohr was better than I remembered. Ditto for Angie Dickinson. And, well, Haley Joel Osment is amazing. Sweet and smart and very endearing. Being a mom, I can’t help smiling when he’s doing his match-making stunts – and, can’t help crying when he meets his fate. I’m an old softie, what can I say?

Spacey Saturday Night Movie chatters review of the movie on video:

Everyone had already seen the movie. The chatters were evenly divided about the movie on video, just as they were originally. Liked it, hated it, about the same, better.

Pay It Forward review by Extremely Disappointed 

I find it hard to imagine feeling like I have to forgive a complete stranger – yet I believe I must forgive Mr. Spacey for making this rotten film. I’m sure he needed the cash for some dire medical emergency that he doesn’t want any of his fans to know about…..and who couldn’t forgive someone for that? Seriously, Mr. Spacey, if you ever read the dribble that people like me feel compelled to share with those who frequent this site – and for the love of all things good (especially good acting and the emotional experiences from being a part of movie magic) please don’t ever make a film this ridiculous again. I admit that I am not a fan of your leading lady in PIF (she’s the same character in every movie I’ve ever seen her in, and who needs more neurotic, insecure and marginally acted parts from women?) so it’s difficult for me to be completely biased. Having said that….there was so much potential in the script and I feel it was pissed away by a “made for tv” approach to the storytelling. You’re a talent to be reckoned with, Mr. Spacey, don’t marginalize yourself or talent with “Hallmark” movies… those for the rookies. If you need a kidney or something, let me know and I’ll pass you one of mine – just don’t prostitute yourself with the kind of crap that I wanted a refund for: Pay It Forward.

Pay It Forward review by T.C. 

I really enjoy this movie, although I think this is not one of the best Kevin Spacey movies. I think he’s excellent, as usual, as is Helen Hunt and that great kid, Haley Joel Osment. But I think that something isn’t right with this movie. Sometimes the story is quite incoherent and the relationship between Arlene and Eugene is not well developed. Here in Portugal the movie was badly received and as far I’m concerned, it was badly received in all Europe.  I think it’s bad, because it’s a well-intentioned movie, but somehow lacks something that I cannot explain. And, I have to say this, I hated that ending! It was terrible! Kills the movie completely. Why the kid have to die? I think that Trevor was the best character of the story and didn’t deserve to die. It was awful! I was so pissed off! My mother liked, not loved, the movie. She thought the movie was slow, although she liked the end and she laughed with those white shoes Kevin wore when he invited Arlene to dinner.  Although many people think Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt didn’t have chemistry, I think that they make a good pair. I think the problem relies on the fact that their relationship isn’t quite developed enough to warm us or to make us believe that they deserve to be together. But, on the other hand, Kevin and Helen give their best on their difficult roles. But Haley Joel Osment smash them with his fantastic performance which proves that “The Sixth Sense” wasn’t pure luck. The kid got talent and simple he’s adorable. Another bad note about the movie: What the hell Jon Bon Jovi do in this movie? He’s a singer, not a actor! His presence is too short, not to say minimal and he doesn’t have depth to portray a strong role of the bad father of Trevor. I love Jon Bon Jovi, he’s a great singer and Bon Jovi is a great band, but he was a bad choice for this role. Or the role was to short for him, I don’t know.

All I know is “Pay it Forward” deserve to be much better, not only because of the talent involved on it, but because the idea that really deserved to be better transformed into a movie. I really believe that we can make a better world, if we want to. Only we got to do is to understand people and help them, but unfortunately this movie fails to recreate that, which really pisses me off! But I still love with all my heart the greatest actor alive nowadays and he’s name is: KEVIN SPACEY!

Pay It Forward by anonymous – 
I’ve never seen anything like it!

Pay It Forward review by Sleepless

Well…I’m from the Netherlands.. Pay it Forward has just been released over here.. I’d already read a lot about it…good things, bad things…anyway…I like the way Kevin Spacey acts…I really think he’s one of the greatest actors of this decade…So I went to see this movie (naturally) and here I am…wondering what to think about it…(just a little personal note…with or without scars.. he’s still looking great). What bothers me was the way the story is been told….switching between past and present.. further there were no deepenings from conversations between Simonet and Arlene, Simonet and Trevor….I think they will lose the nominations because of that…the lack of consistency….the acting level however is good…Spacey is consolidated…Hunt better than I expected she would be, Osmont.. well he’s doing fine with his very heartbreaking look (okay overdone)….The end of the movie, in my opinion way out of line, too much melodrama, too bad…

Well….looking back I’ve to say the film is average, the acting superb… Maybe Hunt and Spacey in another film???

Review by devin:
This film is totally different from anything  I think I’ve seen Kevin in (ie: who picked out his wardrobe?) but, of course he came across with flying colors! My opinions of Kevin’s performances are usually bias so I won’t go too far into that. As for the movie: The pros are: 1) It is very heartwarming. It’s been labeled manipulative but is that a bad thing? 2) I found it to be very believable. You never know how far just ONE good deed can go! 3) The music was beautiful, very much like AB (also see cons). 4) Being set in LV, a city where people are constantly looking for ways to improve their own lives, was perfect. 5) The entire cast did an excellent job (also see cons). 6) Jon Bon Jovi! The cons are: 1) Kevin’s clothes! 2) Helen Hunt. She did an excellent job as the struggling, alcoholic single mother but there’s just something about her that didn’t fit. I can’t put my finger on it. 3) The music could have been more original.  So, there ya go! I thoroughly enjoyed PIF. I laughed, cried and applauded in the end. I will see it again and again. devin Owner, Kevintelligence

Webmaster, Tour de Spacey

My review by Liss @ DMS

“I had mixed feelings about the movie. I thought Kevin was good. He showed us a little bit more with his emotions this time. I’d have to compare this to his movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in a way. Whenever the movie moved away from his part of the story, it lost my interest. Haley Joel Osment was good. Helen Hunt was better than I expected, but seemed to have trouble really expressing emotion when she needed to. I think that may be the director’s fault. A great director should be able to pull a great performance out of an actor.  I don’t know how Kevin managed to pull off his Jack Vincennes smirk during the scene where he’s talking to Haley and then gets in the car outside of the school. But it was very nice. While I thought Pay It Forward was lacking in some ways, it was still better than that American Beauty movie from last year!  I give Kevin’s kissing ****. The rest of the movie I can’t bring myself to rate. Here’s looking forward to K-PAX!” * I just watched the video on the PIF movie chat and it was a bit better on the small screen.

Review by Dawn

I went to see Pay it Forward, during a Sneak Preview Weekend. I expected almost an empty theatre for a 7:00pm showing, but I was surprised. It was a full theatre, which made me very happy, but hard to find a seat. I always enjoy the anticipation of a Kevin Spacey film. Especially if I can see his films before they open to the general public. It is usually hard to wait 9-10 months from the time of filming to when it comes to the theatre.  I always enjoy Kevin’s movies because he makes me smile. He is charming and full of laughs. Kevin is very entertaining. Pay it Forward is a different role for Kevin. Playing Eugene Simonet (a severe burn victim) is a good character for Kevin. It has dimensions and he does a fine performance.  The story is basically good but lacks continuity. They should spend more time on the student/teacher relationship. In our society today, people don’t want to believe that sentimentality is worth watching. This story is of people struggling everyday to be better people. This movie will become another one of Kevin’s enjoyable performances. Patiently waiting for more performances to come…………………………

Pay It Forward review by Anne Mott

I liked this film ALOT. I thought it was interesting and very touching. The only thing I didn’t like was the song playing over the last scene. I thought it was too overly sentimental. It made me feel manipulated, and I refused to cry. I loved the love story between Arlene and Eugene, and thought it was done nicely. I like the idea of Paying it Forward, and didn’t feel preached at. I intend to buy this as soon as it’s available on DVD. I would give this movie **** out of 5.

Pay It Forward review by Bonnie Kavett

Think of an idea to change the world–and put it into ACTION.” This is the idea behind Mimi Leder’s new film, “Pay It Forward.” I had the privilege of catching an early screening of this thanks to the NYU Program Board and the Network Events Theater.

The film stars two Oscar winners, Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey, as well as young nominee Haley Joel Osment. Spacey plays Eugene Simonet, a seventh grade social studies teacher whose severe facial scarring only masks the brutal emotional scars he carries inside. On the first day of school, he presents his class with the unusual assignment, extra credit of course, to try and change the world. Haley Joel Osment is Trevor, a precocious and compassionate eleven-year-old who takes this assignment to heart and comes up with the Pay It Forward idea. His plan, to do three huge favors for three people, and then each of them must do favors for three more people, until the chain of good deeds has reached astronomical levels. It’s like a pyramid scheme, but where the goal is to help others instead of yourself. One of his actions, the one that really drives the story along, is to set up Mr. Simonet with his single, alcoholic, cocktail waitress/stripper mother, played by Helen Hunt. Although at first it seems as if the two couldn’t be more incompatible, it becomes obvious that they are both in fact opposite sides of the same coin and are both lonely people, desperately searching for companionship, yet unsure of how to deal with their feelings for each other.

Kevin Spacey, once again, delivers a masterful performance, at times reminiscent of his role in last years “American Beauty,” but with a much more human core. When he reveals how his burns were inflicted, it is both poignant to the story and it allows him to reach an emotional stage I had not yet witnessed. While Helen Hunt’s character is similar to that in “As Good As It Gets,” I felt she gave a superb portrayal of a single mother struggling to overcome both her alcoholism, as well as her abusive ex-husband. And as for Haley Joel Osment, there is only one word that can be uttered: Wow. This kid, this twelve-year-old, reigns supreme over most adult actors in Hollywood and even manages to steal the screen during his scenes with Spacey, a very hard task to accomplish. This proves that “The Sixth Sense” was no fluke and that this young man will be around for quite a while. There was also some very striking cinematography pitting the harsh reality of the impoverished against a background of the fanciful and luminous Las Vegas Strip.

“Pay It Forward” does have its flaws, however, the most prominent of which is the complete and utter miscasting of Jon Bon Jovi as Trevor’s absent father, Ricky. I do not know what the director had in mind when she decided on him for this role, but the reactions he produces within the audience upon his arrival are completely the opposite of what is intended in the scene. He is too much of a “pretty boy” to give off the callous and unsympathetic vibe needed as an abusive drunk. The only good thing about his performance is that you can truly see just how great the other actors are in comparison. I also found the sequencing of the film to be a bit disconcerting. It opens four months ahead of the action, which is then revealed in flashbacks as the Pay It Forward “movement” (as it is now called) is being tracked from Los Angeles by reporter Chris Chandler (the perfectly sardonic Jay Mohr.) Some people will no doubt be against the “goo factor” that is presented here, but what’s wrong with a film that is moving, that relies on the goodness and honesty of people? It is a very heartwarming film and it has its moments of comedy as well, but it is also tragic and tear jerking. Do not go in expecting a conventionally happy ending, but one whose message is uplifting and thought provoking.