Deeper than expected

There are moments of this movie that are pretty darn good. Most of them involve Kevin Spacey. When he is at the top of his game, he's one of the best actors around. He's very believable in this movie and adds a strong voice, humor, and sadness to this movie. The plot is relatively simple and even a little sappy, but I think the movie makes some tougher choices in the plot that I would not have guessed.

Spacey is a new teacher in Las Vegas at a junior high school. Hunt is the single mother of a bright, but not all that engaged son (Haley). The boy is challenged by Spacey to do something to change the world. As a thought exercise, it's a heavy task for a young lad. The boy decides to do something nice for three people. Something tough and hard. All he asks is that they do something nice for three more people. Through this geometric progression, the world could probably change, but the boy has to learn that the goal is harder than it seems. In predictable fashion, the teacher and the single mom get together. What isn't expected is that she goes back to the boy's abusive father. Intermingled in the story is a vein that isn't needed. A reporter is tracking down the story of the pay it forward movement. It's a strange device and there are other ways to add depth to the story line.

The performances are enjoyable and the movie does make you think.

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