The movie begins showing Tim Dingman (Ben Stiller) and his wife Debbie (Rachel Weisz) getting up in the morning in their obviously usual fashion and then cutting back and forth to Nick Vanderpark (Jack Black) and his wife Natalie (Amy Poehler) waking up at the same time. They each have a son and a daughter and, as we can see by the way the families interact, Tims is a little more polite and calm while Nicks family is more hectic and kind of fun. They both live in the San Fernando Valley in LA and live across the street from each other. When Tim and Nick meet each other outside they both get into Tims slightly dirty Japanese car and head off to work.
On the way, they further establish Nick as being wild (he eats some spilled maple syrup off of Tims pants with his finger) and also as having a mind that drifts everywhere. He obviously tries to come up with lots of ideas for inventions and comes up with two just on the way to work at 3M. When they get there, Tim goes into his office and Nick goes to some big production line. The next thing you know, Nick is rushing into Tims office complaining about his evaluation. Everything on the chart is pretty good except for FOCUS! Tim tries to give a big explanation about how important focus is and says if Nick could just get his focus up a little bit, he could be sitting in a nice office of his own. Of course, while giving this speech, Nick falls asleep in Tims chair.
On the way back from work, Nick says that hes really giving a lot of thought to one of the inventions he came up with, a spray that vaporizes dog poo. Tim brushes it off as another crazy idea that will never work and doesnt want to get involved. That night, Nick calls Tim at a late, late hour just to say that he came up with a name VaPOOrize. Again, Tim just tries to brush it off and go back to sleep. Over what seems to be the next few weeks, Nick goes further and further with the idea even finding an old scientist that believes he can create the stuff. Every time Nick mentions it Tim tries to explain how its physically impossible to just vaporize dog poo, but even his wife seems to like the idea. One night during their kids school play, Nick says that he can really make VaPOOrize and says that Tim can go in it with him 50/50 for about $2000. Tim just keeps refusing. Finally, Tim wakes up another night because he hears loud noises coming from outside. Tim and Debbie go out and find Nick and Natalie with the old scientist on the pavement with some dog poo on the ground. Nick excitedly offers Tim the flashlight to shine down on the poo as they spray something out on it and poof, its gone!
The screen captions 18 Months Later. Basically, Nick decided to stay in the Valley cause he liked where he lives and has now built a gigantic Whitehouse-like mansion right across the street from Tims house and bought a beautiful white horse named Corky (with his own Casa de Corky. Corky keeps on coming over and eating the apples off of the tree at Tims house. Nick comes over to ask if its ok if he eats the Apples and Tim says its fine. Then Nick says hes got a gift for Tim and drags him out to his sports car. Theyre now at a golf course and Tim has cheesy clothes to golf in just like Nicks and they each have their own instructor watching over them. Tim pulls Nick aside and asks if they could just golf alone.
Now, everyones over at Nicks mansion having dinner and Natalie announces that she wants to run for congress, but the little one.
State senate or something and they all congratulate her. Then Nick announces that its time for flan and everyone gets excited. The kids run down the stairs shouting Flan! Flan! while Tims son asks Whats flan? When Tims putting his son to bed that night, the kid asks why they dont have flan and complains about the pool they are getting which sounds like its going to be small (at least compared to the neighbors). Tim ends up getting upset and yelling at him, which only increases tension with his wife who is angry because he didnt just pay the $2000 in the first place. She then ends up taking the kids with her to live at aunt Wind Songs house.
Tim, whos distraught because of his family leaving him goes to work and blows up at his boss, getting him fired. Now with no family, no job, and extreme jealousy Tim goes to a bar and meets the J-Man (Christopher Walken!!!), an old weird guy who he tells his whole story to. As advice, J-Man offers his own story.
When he was young there was this kid across the street who had everything, and was the only kid on the block with a BB gun. He was so jealous that he went to the kids house one night, took his BB gun, and shot a window out. But he shot the window of his own house. When his dad found out, things changed around there. J-Man said he needed to shake things up at the Vanderpark camp. So Tim goes back home and finds the construction workers digging up the hole for his pool but has to rush to stop them since he cant afford it anymore and, while already drunk, finds a bottle of wine from Nick with a note attached about Nicks new vineyard. Tim goes wandering around Nicks mansion around the archery field, still drunk, takes a bow and arrow, and while thinking of J-Mans story about shooting the BB gun, shoots an arrow off into the night. It randomly hits Corky next to his house. So Tim does what he can to push Corkys body into the hole that the pool men dug and buries him that night.
The next morning Tim wakes up dirty and hung over and finds J-Man already in his house. Hes a little upset but not that much. Suddenly, he hears his wife and kids pulling up outside and panics. He tells J-Man to hide in the bathroom. When his wife walks in, so does J-Man back into the room. She asks who this weird man is and J-Man saves the day. He explains that he was supposed to dig the pool for them but couldnt because of underground pipes, both explaining his presence and the lack of a pool. He then calmly walks out. Now Tims family is back but he doesnt have a job and Corky is dead. Meanwhile Nick is freaking out about Corky and searching frantically for him. He even offers a $50,000 award for the horse. J-Man makes an offer to Tim. He says that Tim and his family can stay in the J-Mans cabin by the lake while he digs up the horse and gets the reward money. Tim accepts and they go out to the cabin which is disgustingly filthy and smelly. The lake is barely a puddle. In the middle of the night a strange man comes to the cabin looking for Tim. He tells Tim that J-Man needs him back in the Valley. So Tim gets up and goes back home to find Corky hoisted up out of the ground but J-Man cant get him onto his truck. At the same time, Nick calls and wants Tim to come over because hes fighting with Natalie. So Tim tells J-Man to put the horse on his van because its the right height and goes over to Nicks to talk. Nick explains that Natalie blames him for Corkys disappearance and also shes having trouble campaigning because everyones wondering where the poo goes when you spray VaPOOrize on it. The environmentalists are upset. The whole time J-Mans making tons of noise trying to get the horse on the van and Tim just closes the windows and tells Nick to go to sleep; anything to keep him from hearing J-Man and Corky.
So Tim and J-Man are now driving out to some place with a horses body on top of a van, trying to find a place to bury it. Its raining out and they have to take a detour. Finally Tim gives up and says he just wants to bury it. So they stop and find that the horses body has fallen off. Tim gives up and goes back to the cabin to get some sleep before his family wakes up.
The next time Tim sees Nick, Nicks working out on a treadmill and proposes to Tim that they share his company 50/50 and says he doesnt know why he didnt think of it earlier. Tim and Debbie are very excited and Tim is now going around the world meeting with important people and marketing VaPOOrize. With Tims help they are coming up with great new ideas. This is when J-Man sees Tim on TV and gets Jealous. He calls Tim up and tells him that he wants $50,000 or hell tell everyone about Corky. So Tim finally goes to Debbie and explains everything thats happened so far. Debbie quickly says that they should just pay J-Man. Tim tells J-Man on the phone that hell pay the $50,000 but suddenly J-Man just wants more. So Tim decides to just tell Nick the truth. Tim and Debbie are trying to help Natalie with her campaign and say that she should hold a rally and promise that if anyone can find anything scientifically wrong with VaPOOrize that shell forfeit the race. Everything seems to be going well with the campaign plan but Nick hears that their carousel has broken again. Tim and Nick go out to fix Nicks carousel and this is when Tim decides to admit everything. The machine blows up, however, while their fixing it and Nick loses his hearing for a bit, inconveniently when Tim is trying to explain how he shot Corky with an arrow. He shoots another one off and you can hear J-Man scream. Nick just wanders off back to the house since he really cant hear a thing.
Tim goes to his house and sees J-Man slumped over a window with an arrow in his back. He immediately rushes to get Debbie and show her how he shot him accidentally but when he gets there with her, J-Man is already gone. They go out driving to look for him and find J-Man in the street with an arrow in his back. He agrees to stop hounding Tim if he will just pull the arrow out of his back. Tim agrees and does so.
So Tim finally gets the chance to admit everything to Nick that night. He takes a long, long time with a long speech and at the end Nick says that Tim should have just told him everything in the first place. Tim apologizes and they get to be best friends again.
Now, the campaign rally is about to begin and they are about to make their offer about VaPOOrize when they see Corkys body floating down the wash next to the event and everyone is in shock. We cut to the hospital or vet where a woman explains that every animal that dies suspiciously has to be checked out and we also find out essentially that VaPOOrize is a harmless chemical, unless it comes into contact with feces. Then it becomes a poison. So when Corky would eat Tims apples and then take a dump in the backyard, they would spray VaPOOrize on it. Then the soil would feed the apple tree and Corky would eat them. That explains how Corky died. The arrow was inconsequential since he died from the poison that Nick created.
Nick and Tims expensive property is now all being auctioned off because their business is down the drain. They show supermarkets taking his product off of the shelves. Things seem like they couldnt get worse when Tim asks Nick if his invention just came to him in a flash and he realized it was good. Nick says yes and Tim responds that he may have an idea of his own. We then cut to an infomercial with Nick and Tim in it. Theyre marketing PocketFlan! Its flan that you can take on the go!
The credits play as they show clips from the infomercial so you should really stay until the end.
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