Jax (Dylan Sprouse) drives into the forest at night and drops his cigarette out of the window as he parks. He steps on it and takes the axe out of his trunk. He starts chipping away at the bark. A young man holds his arm and Jax tells him “let me be in pain.” The young man says “pain is best served with a drink” and leads him to two chairs and a theater screen. They sit down and watch the movie.
In the movie, Ariel (Khadijha Red Thunder) sits at a bench near the lake, reading a book “Love Is Stupid. ” She smiles as Jax sits down next her. He asks her “Be mine.” She laughs and says “no.”
At the ball, he leans against the staircase, taking a sip of his drink as he stares at her. She gazes at him as she smokes. He returns to the lake and sits next to her, reading the same “Love Is Stupid.” Taking out a pen, he writes his phone number in a page of the book and gives it to her.
He stands behind her, telling her “lover has arrived” at the ball. She kisses him as they dance. Valerie Broussard performs in the background.
At the lake, as he canoes towards her, he says “it’s a beautiful day to be lovers.” They cuddle in the boat. He asks her “be mine.” She answers “maybe.” He leads her to the bed. While taking off the blindfold over her eyes, he says “let me into the deepest, darkest part of your mind.” They sleep together. He dances by the bed as she lies in the bed. He smiles, saying “this is what I want.”
She lies on the bed, thinking that “love lies to you.” He carves their names into the bark while at the lake. As they lie on the blanket, he asks her “be mine.” She responds “I’m mine.” He puts his hands on her cheeks and tells her “be mine.” He continues to dance the bed as she drinks from the bottle, wondering “is this what I want?”
Cigarette in his mouth, he calls her as he waits for her at the cafe. She tears out a page of the “Love Is Stupid” book while the phone rings. They argue as she tosses his suitcase down the stairs and breaks a vase of flowers. She says “I should’ve told you then. I can’t breathe when you love me.” He puts his arms around his waist, telling her “there is a world where we are together and it’s this world.” She leaves and he stares down at the floor.
A tear rolls down Jax’s face as the movie ends.
Jax touches the carving he made on the tree. He sits on the bench, waiting for her. It’s the sixth time he’s been to the lake Ariel broke up with him. However, he thinks it’s going to be the last for a while. He can no longer torture himself. Ariel isn’t going to change her mind.
He smokes his cigarette at the cafe and drinks his coffee. A young woman smiles at him and he turns away. She’s a regular like him. Through snippets of conversations, he found out she was a debut novelist. Some of her work had been published in the New Yorker. He had read a poem of hers and burst into tears. Her words were raw and unflinching.
Sitting across from her on the weekend, he tells her he really admires her work. She grins and tells him thank you. He asks what inspired her to write her poem. She said she was dealing with an awful breakup and it was the only way she could make sense of it. He says he reaches that deep with his writing. She says for him to bring some of his work the next time he’s at the cafe and she’ll take a look at it.
He digs through his poems and finds a halfway decent one. Printing it out, he puts his phone number on it and tells her to be honest with him. She calls him a week later and invites him out to dinner, saying she would like to talk it over. During dinner, he finds his best suit and meets her at the restaurant. Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, she apologizes for stating it wasn’t a formal meeting and says for him to come inside. She says she’s willing to pass his work along to her agent. Her agent could possibly place it somewhere. She asks how he got interested in writing. As they drink wine, they continue to talk for a few hours. She looks at her watch and says she didn’t realize it was so late.
Over the next weekend, he drinks his coffee and waves her over to him as she walks inside. She smiles and tells him she has good news. Sitting closer to her, he asks her what it is. She says she found out her book is going to be turned into a movie. She leans into him and they kiss. He pulls back, apologizing but she says it was all right and leans into him.
Director: Sarah Bahbah Year: 2019