The movie begins with the opening credits, where we see a heavily wooded forest bordering on a populated city. We continue to zoom in on the city until we see one home in particular, where a pre-graduation party is occurring. Once everyone is seated, Diane Powell (Marcia Gay Harden) begins giving a toast to her son Nick (Justin Chatwin). Diane goes on about how they’ve been through hard times together, but now he’s made her very proud and that they can now do well. She then gives Nick a graduation present, which is a watch with his name engraved on the back.
A bit later, we see Nick leaving his party to go down to the basement and sits by himself for a while, obviously uninterested in what’s going on upstairs. Suddenly, Nick grabs a rifle, points it at himself, and is about to pull the trigger when he wakes up; the latter part of this event was a dream. At breakfast, Nick talks to his mom about attending a writer’s course in London, and it’s clear they’ve had this discussion many times before. She quickly dismisses the idea and says no.
Once at school, Nick is seen getting money from the school jock in return for a paper Nick wrote for him, so it’s clear that Nick is using his writing talents to make money at school. We then cut to another student named Pete, who is being beaten up and harassed in the bathroom, where we see two bullies and Annie (Margarita Levieva) getting mad that Pete has not paid them back for the cellphone they gave him. They empty his pockets looking for money, but can only find nicotine gum wrappers (important). They beat Pete around a bit more before leaving.
In English class, students are taking turns reading their poetry assignments, where Nick clearly stands out as a talent, although his writings are definitely a bit dark. However, he is cut off by the lunch bell, and all the students head to the cafeteria. We then find out that Pete and Nick are good friends, and Nick pays Annie the money Pete still owes, and whispers “You are so broken” before walking away. Upset, Annie tackles Nick, and both are called into the principal’s office, where they both flirt while simultaneously showing hatred towards each other. Despite the scuffle, both Annie and Nick get away without trouble.
That night, Pete goes to visit Nick, where Nick confides that he’s flying out to London tomorrow without telling his mother. Nick also discusses his father’s death, talking about how cold his mother was after the event, where the first thing she said was, “Don’t worry Nick, this won’t change a thing for you.” Nick is clearly sick of his mother and wants some independence.
Meanwhile, Annie goes home where we see her horrible family life with her father and stepmother, but she is actually very close with her little brother Vincent, who showed loving concern when she decides to go out. Annie meets up with her boyfriend Marcus, where they hijack a car and rob a jewelry store. In the morning, the two have a fight when Marcus wants to hang onto the jewelry and claims Annie is out of control, but she leaves and puts the jewelry in her school locker. In anger, Marcus calls the police and turns Annie in. She is arrested at school, and thinks Pete turned her in, since he saw her put the jewelry in her locker and wouldn’t suspect her boyfriend. After being bailed out of jail, Annie and the other two bullies hunt Pete down to make him pay, but he swears that he didn’t alert the police. In a self-preservation tactic, Pete blames it on Nick, thinking he’s already on his way to London anyways. However, Nick’s mom got a call from the airline company and thwarted his plans to leave. Therefore, Nick has shown up to a party, gets pretty drunk, and starts walking aimlessly down the middle of the road. Suddenly, we find a car following him closely, and eventually runs him off the road. It’s Annie and the two bullies, with Pete stuck in the backseat. After beating him up a bit, Annie shouts, “Who’s broken now!!” and Nick replies, “It’s still you, you’re the broken one.” Annie kicks him in the head out of anger, immediately knocking him out. One of the other bullies realizes that he doesn’t seem to be breathing, so the whole group starts freaking out that they killed Nick. In a panic, they all hide his body deep in the forest in a sewer.
The next morning, we see Nick walk to school from the forest unscathed and go to class. He quickly realizes no one can hear him, and when he throws or breaks objects, they immediately go back to normal. He finds that his mother has already alerted the authorities, and the two detectives on the case already suspect Annie. However, when the detectives go to question Annie, she says she was with Marcus that night, and refuses to cooperate (Annie ends up telling Marcus of the murder so he will confirm her alibi, including where she hid the body). Nick watches all of this in anger and even pushes her off the roof, only to find her back on top of the building a second later, as if he had never touched her. Thinking he’s already dead and being totally frustrated, Nick even goes to his basement and tries to shoot himself, only to find that would not work either.
Meanwhile, a search party begins in the woods for Nick, where a scuffle had obviously occurred and the body is expected to be found. The search party finds Nick’s engraved watch, but nothing else. At home, Nick sees his mom look around his room, reading his poetry, finally bothering to look at his work and passion. Although she has always looked very frigid, she finally breaks down one night, showing how much she truly cares about Nick. While home, Nick sees a small bird crash into the window, and seems nearly dead outside, but is still breathing. Suddenly, an exact copy of the bird is on Nick’s shoulder for a few seconds, until he disappears when the original bird dies. Nick then realizes that he’s in a coma, hovering between life and death. Realizing that he’s still alive, his new goal is to try to get his body rescued.
Throughout the movie, Nick notices that Annie shows signs of hearing or feeling him, so he works on getting her to come around. Although Annie seemed very cold and uncaring in the beginning of the movie, we slowly realize that she’s really a good person who feels horrible for hurting Nick. Annie finally comes around, believing that Nick is really alive, and goes to the forest to find his body. However, when arriving at the sewer, she realizes that the body is gone. However, Annie finds a nicotine gum wrapper nearby, and realizes that Pete has been there. When Annie confronts Pete, he admits that he and Marcus moved Nick’s body so that none of them would get caught. Therefore, Nick and Annie both go on missions to find out where Nick’s body is. Nick follows Pete home, where he tries to overdose on pills and alcohol due to guilt. However, while ODing, Pete’s “coma copy” shows up and is able to tell Nick where his body is. Meanwhile, Annie confronts Marcus and finds out where the body is, but a shootout ensues, where both Annie and Marcus shoot each other. An injured Annie makes it to the correct location in time to see the detectives locate Nick’s body and drive him to the hospital, although he is still in a coma.
Annie feels like she needs to be with Nick to help him, so she goes to his hospital room, although her injury is very severe. Annie lays next to Nick in bed, and Nick wakes from his coma with just enough time to say, “You saved me, you did a good thing” before Annie dies. In the final scene of the movie, we see Annie’s younger brother flying a remote control plane when Nick shows up. They write a message for Annie on the wing of the plane, and stand together as the plane flies high over the landscape.
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