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While a chilling voiceover is being read_ Romeo unsuccessfully

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					While a chilling voiceover is being read, Romeo unsuccessfully attempts to kill himself.

He is about to start his junior year, and he promises his parents that he will give life a

second chance. He transfers to a new school to get away from memories and people who

know about what he tried to do to himself. Upon arriving, he quickly meets Jim and his

friends, an eclectic group of individuals bound by their unique personality quirks. They

embrace him readily, and he quickly becomes part of their group. He joins them one

night as they play a prank on a fraternity that they despise; they plant stink bombs in the

house. As everyone is watching the frat boys run outside in disgust, Jim’s eyes rest on a

beautiful woman walking down the street, and he completely misses the effects of the

prank. No one notices but Romeo, and Jim doesn’t seem to mind. Afterwards, the group

goes to bar and begins celebrating their prank, drink and having a good time, until Romeo

suddenly and violently runs out the bar into his (single) dorm room. He takes out a

picture of a girl and begins sobbing, saying I’m sorry over and over again. Jim, hanging

out with the group, expresses that he has decided to get the girl back. He met her

freshmen year and they shared intimate moments together, but things came between them

and he hasn’t spoken to her since then. He knows nothing about what she has been doing

for the past three years, but he is confident that he will be able to rekindle old flames, as

long as the group goes along with some of his schemes. They agree to do so. Casually

walking through school, Romeo sees Jim again after his odd departure. Jim acts as if

nothing happened, for which Romeo is extremely grateful. He begins hanging out with

the group, but he does not drink/party with them. Still, whether he admits it or not he

enjoys himself, and he joins the group in their recon to find out what Jim’s girl has been

up to. Jim is horrified to discover that she is dating the biggest asshole in the frat that they
all hate. Jim, typical to his character, never loses confidence, and resolves to get the girl

anyway, knowing that he will have to take on an entire fraternity to do so. Somewhat to

his own surprise, Romeo agrees to help.



Through continued exposure to him, the group inadvertently learns that Romeo attempted

to commit suicide, yet they respond in a way totally opposite that which he expected and

feared. Romeo recognizes depth and character in this group of people, despite the fact

that a stranger would have no idea. Jim’s plans are still in preliminary stages, as he is

getting to know the girl through her classes, activities, and friends. He finally establishes

contact with her, and the begin talking and meeting up. They get along royally, but Jim is

far too smart to attempt to make a move; it is still far too early. He talks frequently about

his memories of her, and the way that he is beginning to enjoy her and every time he

does so Romeo drifts or leaves the room or says something awkward to end the

conversation. The asshole in the frat recognizes Jim’s intentions and exposes them to the

girl, doing so to present Jim in the most negative light possible. The girl is rather freaked

out and turned off, and Jim for the first time loses confidence. He does not like feeling

this way; he is used to always getting what he wants easily and without risk of failure,

and he begins to consider giving up his efforts. Romeo hears him talking about the

reasons why he is about to give up this girl that he loved and gets furious. He tells Jim

(and the viewer for the first time outright) the reason why he tried to kill himself. Jim is

moved by Romeo’s words, and resolves to revamp his efforts. He manages to put down

her guard a little bit, and she stops being freaked out, although she is now wary of what

his intentions might be. As soon as things start to approach the normalcy and goodness
that they had attained before, Jim learns that the asshole has proposed, and that she has

asked for a day to think about it. Jim finds her and convinces her to ask for more time; in

reality he is begging her to give him more time, more time to prove himself to her.

Romeo provided him with a number of gems to say in his speech, and they work like a

charm. Something about his sincerity and his point (as well as, ultimately, her own

doubts) cause her to agree, and she asks for a little more time. Jim tells the group, and

they decide to celebrate, getting wasted and going out to a bar. While at the bar, Romeo

bumps into his dead girlfriend’s younger sister, who was visiting the school with no plans

of seeing him. She sees him drunk and having a good time and says, with innocent

intention, how proud she is that he seems to have finally moved on. She uses words like

“forget” and “for the best” that visibly hurt Romeo, and he is overwhelmed with guilt. He

leaves the bar without saying a word, and he assumes a position sobbing with the picture

identical to the one he assumed at the beginning of his journey. The asshole digs up dirt

from Jim’s past, showing the girl why it was that things didn’t work out between her and

Jim years ago. While he distorts the information, enough of it is true that he cannot

outright deny it, and she is clearly hurt and angry. Jim is desperate to explain himself to

her, and he undertakes an elaborate mission to sneak into her room, which she recognizes

must have put him in extreme danger. By that fact alone, she agrees to listen to him. He

explains himself, adding truth to the selected facts that the asshole had included, and she

more than forgives him; she is touched by what he has had to endure. This is also an

opportunity when we see the depths of Jim’s character; how much more there is to him

than the lovesick party boy that we first think we are seeing. Finally, for the first time,

they kiss. Nevertheless, the whole incident has planted doubt in her mind, and now she is
really confused. She is tempted by Jim, but she finds it hard to turn down the offer from

the asshole (who she doesn’t quite recognize as an asshole), an offer of security and

certainty. Jim leaves her room knowing that it will take something dramatic for him to

succeed in his goal. It has been some time since we have seen Romeo, yet when we

return to him he remains in bed, staring at the picture. He is no longer crying, but his eyes

are clearly bloodshot; it is left ambiguous whether he has moved at all. This time,

however, select members from the group enter his room. They persuade him, with

personal stories and willful use of character, to get out of his bed. They insist that the

journey on which he began (referring to Jim’s) is about to reach its climax, and he has to

be a part of it. He agrees.

Jim (et al) put on an enormous production to win back the girl. The group distracts the

asshole and the entire fraternity by challenging them to a competition. The frat and the

group must be represented by equal numbers in each event, but different members from

the frat can participate (while the group is obviously limited in its selection). The group

places what the frat believes to be enormous stakes on the game, promising to stop all the

pranks if they win. Should the frat lose, the entire fraternity would have to walk around

dressed as women for a day. This proved just long enough for Jim to have some time

alone with the girl. He begs her to come with him, on this last excursion, and he promises

to leave her alone after that. He takes her on a journey through all of the memories that

they shared together years ago, shocking and touching her with the vividness of the

details. With each stop she grows more and more visibly fond of him, yet her

reservations never completely leave her. He insists that he is not right for her, that he is

an asshole, but she does not believe him. The last place Jim takes her is to a secret spot
where they can witness the competition that has been going on. The competition entailed

nine events, and we learn (or have watched all the events?) that the score is tied. The last

event is rather absurd, but both groups agree to it; one member from each team, selected

by the other team, must make a claim in which he believes he is superior to the other, and

which he can prove. To the frat’s surprise, the group chooses the asshole. They choose

Romeo. The asshole goes first, claiming that he can beat Romeo in arm-wrestling. They

compete, and Romeo loses. He now has an opportunity to tie. He claims that he has had

sex with more women in the past year than the asshole. The asshole laughs and turns to

his friends, confident that they had won. He claims to have had sex with five women. (He

has been dating the girl for over a year). Romeo mentions this point, and the asshole

laughs again, saying that he didn’t really think a girl like that could keep a guy like him

satisfied did he? Romeo concedes defeat. Only then does the asshole think to ask Romeo

how many girls he had had sex with, to which Romeo responds zero. As this is

happening, the girl walks about and slaps the asshole. “Think of it as our last prank,” Jim

says, before kissing the girl. The group is obviously happy, including Romeo, but he

declines in their offer to go out and celebrate with them. He sits in his room, and

contemplates suicide. The next scene is of the back of the tombstone, with the end of the

voiceover being read. As it finishes, the camera pans around to the front of the

tombstone, where a hand places an Emily Dickinson collection of poetry in front of the

stone that reads “Rachel Smith: 1985-2006.” We see Romeo sitting in front of her grave.

He talks to her, expressing how the poem is accurate, how much he still hurts and how

much he still loves her, but reaching a resolution and being able to continue with his life.

He gets up and walks away, where the group is waiting for him.

				
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posted:11/5/2011
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