Walking past a white neon sign saying “Cocktails,” John Mayer, in a suit and a tie, looks for a seat.
At a church, white roses hang on the end of the pews and the pianist prepares to play.
He takes his boutonnière off his suit and sets it down. As the bartender wipes the counter with a cloth, he stares down into his drink.
Further in the back of the bar, he takes out his guitar and plays against a steel, dotted flower and a faded red love seat.
The flower girl, about five years old, carries her basket of petals.
He looks at himself in the mirror on the side of him. Meanwhile, the maid of honor bites her lip, anxious while the bride’s mother turns away, her worst fear confirmed for her daughter. The best man looks beside him, confused and looks to his girlfriend, who responds with a shrug.
People begin to talk. The bride’s aunt starts to rant that the guy couldn’t be trusted.
He taps his fingers on the counter, somewhat relieved. The best man puts his hand over his mouth, worried that what he is thinking will actually occur.
The bride’s mother cleans the “Just Married” paint off the call, smearing the words.
He turns his head to the side, unable to look at himself any longer and stares off into the distance. He takes a sip from his drink.
Her grandparents leave the church, discussing how unacceptable it was.
He stands up in his chair, putting both his hands on the counter. It’s over. He did it.
On the way out of the church, the bride’s father thanks everyone for coming and puts his hand on his wife’s shoulder. Her eyes filled with tears, she puts her hand over his, needing his comfort.
His best man stands at the altar, believing against everything that he will show up. The bride’s sister puts her hand on her aunt’s shoulder.
At the altar, his best man shakes his head. As he walks down the aisle, he looks back, thinking of what could have been. Outside, the guests are talking about what happened. The maid of honor and the bride’s sister fold the wedding dress back into the box. The bride’s sister lets out a sad sigh as she leaves the church.
The best man enters the bar and pauses when he sees Mayer. He sits down beside him and folds his hands, asking him if he wants to talk. Mayer says nothing. He puts his hand on Mayer’s shoulder and gives him a note.
When his best friend leaves, he reads the note: I can’t stop loving you. He folds the note back up and places it next to his empty glass. He gets up from the chair, leaves some money on the counter and goes outside. He takes a brisk walk down the street, trying to run away from the guilt he feels.
At the church, the little girl drops the petals in a corner as a woman blows out the candles.
Seeing a cab, he puts his hand and gets inside. The cab driver asks him where to and he doesn’t really answer.
A woman blows out the final candle.
He couldn’t go through with the wedding. It would’ve been a mistake anyway. Somehow, leaving her at the altar seems humane compared to the misery he would’ve put her through.
Mayer’s groom is filled with self-loathing and shame. In his mind, he believes his bride is better off without him. She will find someone who will able to love her completely. His heart has been broken for a long time, long before he met her and it’s something she knows nothing about nor could she understand.
Meanwhile, friends and family are puzzled. They didn’t see it coming. However, his best man had a hunch. A hunch that maybe something was off and he had hoped that his friend would be able to get past it.
While what he did was cowardly and wrong, Mayer is able to externalize how damaged he feels, fleshing out the grey area of his decision. When he runs from the note, he aims to get as far as possible from the bar as he can. He can’t deal with the fact that he still loves her but the fear of vulnerability rules him.
Director: N/A Year: 2010