WHY WE CARE


YOUR STORIES


SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

PLUGGED IN RATING

    No Rating Available

Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

It’s a premise with promise. A seventh-grade teacher challenges his students to change the world. One does by creating an altruistic domino effect called Pay It Forward. The rules are simple: 1) It has to be something big that really helps people, 2) It must be something they can’t do for themselves, and 3) The benefactor has to aid three other people in need. Sounds great. Touched by an Angel with an all-star cast? Sadly, no.

Osment plays Trevor, an aw-shucks 11-year-old who lives on the outskirts of Las Vegas with his mom (Hunt), a brusque, promiscuous alcoholic who works at a casino by day and a strip club by night. One of Trevor’s good deeds involves fixing her up with his teacher, Mr. Simonet (Spacey), a fastidious loner as badly scarred physically as his mother is emotionally. After a rough start, the couple come to grips with their issues—in bed.

Sexual immorality is just one problem with Pay It Forward. Frequent profanity is another (even Osment utters a few choice words). Furthermore, the filmmakers create the seediest backdrop possible for Trevor’s nobility. Vagrants. Drug and alcohol abusers. Knife-wielding kids. Despite good points about forgiveness, the fallout from addiction and the need to reach out to struggling strangers, the message is humanistic. God has no place in the recovery of individuals or society. And the final act is tragic. What could’ve been the feel-good movie of the year evolves as if written by a twelve-stepping descendent of Theodore Dreiser.

Simonet asks his bright-eyed social studies class, "What if the world is a big disappointment?" Answer: They’ll feel like I did after watching this film.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!