At the office of Love Is Shady Tree Service, Kimberly Perry, wearing gold-rimmed glasses, chomps on her gum and answers the phone. The screen splits into two, showing the male customer on the left. The male customer asks if they could chop down a tree for him. It causes him heartbreak each time he sees it. Switching back to Kimberly, she sympathizes with him, saying it’s rough. He asks for it to be as soon as possible. She makes the appointment for the next week and he says it’s ok with him. He thanks for her for helping him. She tells him to “take care” and hangs up. She writes down the order on a sheet of paper, telling her manager there’s a new appointment.
Kimberly, Reid and Neil drive the Love Is Shady to the forest.
At a banquet hall, The Band Perry perform.
Inside the van, Kimberly points to their stop. A dour young woman, wearing a pink plaid jacket, hears the van and turns around. Kimberly puts her arm around the young woman as she leads them to the tree. The young woman touches the etched bark on the tree, remembering the moment her ex-boyfriend said he would marry her one day. Reid cuts the tree down.
They drive a few more miles to meet their next customer. The bitter black-haired young woman hugs the tree. Neil tells her it will be healthy for her to let it go and pulls her away. Neil comforts her as she cries.
Throughout the day, they cut several more trees. They pause at a muddy river and then return to the van, Kimberly cuts down a tree, dust spraying from the side.
They follow the young man, who called last week. He pauses by the tree and puts his hat over his heart. Kimberly measures with her fingers. Then, the tree falls to the ground. Neil then cuts the initials in half. Kimberly closes the van with the supplies.
The crowd claps for the band. The screen pauses as The Band Perry thanks the residents of Stayton and Sublimity, Oregon. They also states that they respect the environment and lead people to Soundforest.org. Soundforest.org helps local communities by planting trees in neighborhoods and providing tips for a healthier living.
Every tree fall is cathartic, relieving the stress of a thousands heartbreaks. Working for Love Is Shady Tree Service has cemented Kimberly’s belief to remain single. Seeing young women cling to some storybook idea of love day after day has caused her to become indifferent. It’s a reminder she has an identity outside of a man and should focus on her goals. If she falls in love between, it will be for herself, not to fulfill some requirement determined by society.
Neil recommitted himself to his ex-girlfriend after hearing a young woman sob on his sister’s shoulder, wondering why her ex didn’t have time for her. Neil always had an excuse: work, family, friends. During a break, he called his ex-girlfriend and apologized for making her feel worthless. He asked them for to get together for dinner. He asked her to marry him six months later.
Reid, though, sees breakups as a part of life. Love moves in cycles. He has seen the young women they helped, happy with their new boyfriends. A few are married with children. They thank him for the clean break and he says he’s glad to see them be able to make a fresh start.
Director: David McClister Year: 2014