For anyone with an ounce of idealism, or any fond memories of singing "Pass It On," Pay It Forward
offers some morally powerful moments, at least at the beginning. It
opens with a facially scarred teacher, Gene Simonet, directing his
students to come up with a plan to change the world. Simonet, as played
by Kevin Spacey, exudes some unusually dangerous vibrations in the
seventh-grade classroom. What he's seen of the world has given him a
cold intensity: he doesn't really expect his students to shake off their
adolescent lethargy, but he's got no energy for coddling them either.