Pay It Forward: The Ultimate PUA Movie?

Pay It Forward: The Ultimate PUA Movie?

If you haven’t seen the movie Pay It Forward (2003) with Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, and Kevin Spacey, see it. It actually brought tears to my eyes. If you haven’t seen it you absolutely must.

Alright, let’s start small and break this movie down in accordance to its relevancy to pickup on a micro level.

First of all, the character of Mr. Simonet, played by Kevin Spacey, provides some good examples of alpha male behaviors. However, the best example of his character was that of the dominant male with that mysterious internal conflict that women simply cannot resist. Some newbies may at first interpret his behavior as completely AFC, but if you look deeper you’ll find what I’m talking about. His character is stellar example of “the romantic hero.” The interactions and relationship between him and Trevor’s mom (Helen Hunt) was chock full of push/pulls and epitomized the female fantasy.

Reality check: Trevor’s mom is a hot blonde and Mr. Simonet is a very well educated man with burn scars on his face. T-momma sees herself as lower value because she’s intimidated by Simonet’s awesome man-value and Simonet sees himself as lower value because he’s intimidated by T-momma’s hot hot tater tots. They’re both disillusioned to the perception that they aren’t good enough because they themselves don’t possess each others’ qualities when in reality they could happily just complement each other.

Alright, now it’s time to get a little deeper and see a little broader. From this movie I learned something about change. Pay It Forward echoed a prominent theme from Fight Club: change. In Fight Club, the basic message about change is based on Nietzscheian views about destruction and recreation. In Pay It Forward, they provide another vital piece to the puzzle. Trevor’s mom becomes sober after recovering from alcoholism and commits herself to making a new life to provide a better environment for her son. One day, after Trevor’s mom and Mr. Simonet went out on 7 dates or something like that, her piece-of-shit ex-husband (sorry, Bon Jovi) shows up for the first time in the movie, claiming to have changed and went sober. The reason he was gone in the first place was because he was a trouble-making alcoholic who made a terrible father before, but predictably Trevor’s mom gives him another chance and has to sever her current romantic ties with Mr. Simonet. Drama drama drama blah blah blah. The point is that Trevor’s mom later on realized her mistake and went with Mr. Simonet. She kicked the piece-of-shit ex-husband out of the house again because she actually did change. The POS ex-husband did not.

What does this say about change? After Trevor was saying something about having faith in people to change, I realized that change was all about moving forward. The POS ex-husband didn’t change and the proof was that, even if he did genuinely go sober for a while, he tried to go back to his past (to his ex-wife) instead of moving onto a new stage of life. Trevor’s mom did that by moving forward to a stage that was outside her comfort zone while the POS ex-husband tried to go right to the center of his comfort zone.

I can totally relate this to my own life. The best example I got was my oneitis with a girl named Carolina. A few years ago I finally fully got over it. It took me something like 4 years total, though. Yeah, it was rough. One of my big motivations of getting into this community and studying pickup was so that I could one day win her back with amazing game somehow. Instead I got something better. I got my freedom from the prison of oneitis.

My focus on learning game for the longest time had been to eventually return to the center of my comfort zone instead of looking for a new home for my heart beyond the horizon. That held me back in so many ways for so fucking long. True change lies in the willingness to walk away from the old and walk toward the unknown.

If you didn’t already know, the basic premise of the movie is this little kid who comes up with an idea where he does 3 people a big life-changing favor, then each of those 3 are asked to do 3 people a favor, then each of those people do 3 people a favor, and so on and so forth. At first this appears to be a very unrealistic Utopian goal to change the world, but then the movie reveals exactly why it appears so.

People who allow themselves to dwell in their comfort zones don’t change shit, and this is exactly what most people do. Most of people that actually do this “Pay It Forward” thing in the movie do it because they are at rock bottom and feel like they have nothing to lose. Take Trevor’s mom for instance. She desperately wanted to change her life so that she can provide a better environment for her son to grow up in and be loved. She was willing to do anything, so she paid it forward. If you watch the movie it’ll make a lot more sense. Mr. Simonet lives a fairly comfortably life so at first he doesn’t really do shit. Sure, he suffers from the mundane existence that repeats in his life every day, but it’s bearable and he is used to it. He has to realize this in order to push himself forward.

I got heavily into pickup in 2003 because I was at rock bottom. It was either change or die in my case. I chose change. If I had a choice between mediocrity and change, I would have probably been more inspired to stick with mediocrity. Of course, this theme brings back Fight Club, which is all about hitting rock bottom to obtain the freedom to accomplish whatever you want.

This also helped me to further understand Carlos Xuma’s teaching of essentially thinking of your comfort zone as pain.

Now, to look at this movie on a macro level…

Even though a lot of people didn’t “pay it forward,” enough people did so that it became a noticeable trend across the nation (in the movie). One of the rules to paying it forward was that you couldn’t pay a favor back to the same person who did you the favor, but a major thing I noticed in the movie was good karma coming back to the people who paid it forward. A lot of these people eventually received favors from the people who got favors from the people they gave favors to. Call me an idealist, but it seemed pretty damn probable to me.

After David Deangelo’s material helped me change my life, I knew I had to pay it forward, and I have. Oh, and I’m not stopping.

I used to get really offended by feminists who accuse our community of misogyny because I perceived their accusations as an attack on my own self-preservation. Not only was I interpreting their criticism as “you shouldn’t have sex and procreate,” I was actually under the illusion that their message was “you shouldn’t be alive” … because pickup saved my life by giving me an opportunity to change when I had no other choice. Now, don’t get offended like I did, because feminists aren’t actually telling us to die. They just don’t have the same life-or-death perspective/experience as some of us in the community do.

Mr. Simonet eventually broke free from his comfort zone to leave Trevor’s mom better than he found her. Well, he didn’t leave her, but watch the movie and look out for that one. You’ll see that it would have been impossible to “leave her better than he found her” if he hadn’t faced his inner demons and gave a big “fuck you” to his comfort zone.

At the end of the movie you get to see so many faces of the people this Pay It Forward idea has affected, and it really is a touching scene. It’s like one little kid changed the world. Just imagine the effects of doing something as simple as smiling and saying hi to another person as you pass them by. It lifts their mood, they smile and say hi to other people, and all those people start doing the same. It’s the same concept in this movie on a grander scale. It should be every PUA’s philosophy in life to spread love and positivity like that. That’s how you leave the world better than you found her. Pay it forward.


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  1. Never seen this movie nor heard of it. I guess I’ll have to google it or check for listings to see if it’s currently showing on certain networks. May just have to Pay Per View it if it’s worth it.

  2. Bad Name says:

    good movie. Bon Jovi was alpha.

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