Pay It Forward is a 2000 American drama film directed by Mimi Leder. The film is based loosely on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
The story of a social studies teacher (Kevin Spacey) who gives an assignment to his junior high school class to think of an idea to change the world for the better, then put it into action. When one young student (Haley Joel Osment). creates a plan for "paying forward" favors, he not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, unbeknownst to him, has blossomed into a profound national phenomenon.
- Kevin Spacey as Eugene Simonet
- Helen Hunt as Arlene McKinney
- Haley Joel Osment as Trevor McKinney
- Jay Mohr as Chris Chandler
- James Caviezel as Jerry
- Angie Dickinson as Grace
- Jon Bon Jovi as Ricky McKinney
- Marc Donato as Adam
- David Ramsey also stars as Sidney Parker, an African-American man involved in the "pay it forward" movement, as does Gary Werntz (director Mimi Leder's real-life husband) as Mr. Thorsen. Kathleen Wilhoite also stars as Bonnie, Arlene's sponsor and mentor.