NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by horrorfreak89who says... "This was a very powerful movie. It was a very slow movie, but thats what makes it so great. Do yourself a favor and rent this movie even if you read this spoiler"
The movie starts out with Ann (Sarah Polley) standing out in the rain. She is talking to herself about all types of people. She also says that it feels good when the rain hits your body and you want to stay there forever.
We next see Ann working. She is a high school janitor. Ann starts to fool around while cleaning the blackboards with her best friend Laurie. After work they take a walk outside. We can tell right away that Laurie isn't right in the head. Ann gets in her car and drives to pick her mom (Deborah Harry) up from work at the bakery. They finally get home. The mom lives in a nice house while Ann lives in a trailer next door. Ann walks inside her greets her husband Don (Scott Speedman). They get in bed and fall asleep.
The next morning at breakfast, we meet the two little girls. Patsi and Penny. Don drives them to school. Just as he drives off Ann falls to the floor. The mom goes inside Anns trailer. She sees Ann and drives her to the hospital. Now in the hospital, Ann waits for a doctor to see her. This takes a few hours and the doctor finally calls her in. The doctor does some scans and notices that there is a problem. He goes into another room with Ann and explains that he did 3 scans and he discovered a tumor in her stomach. It is spreading through out the liver. He says that since Ann is only 23 years old, her cells might not be able to handle this tumor. The doctor says she only has 2-3 months left.
This information takes a little while to seep into Anns head. She said that she thought she was pregnant but shes not. Ann cries a little and leaves the office. She calls her mom and tells her that the doctor found some anemia (Thats obviously a lie. Throughout the movie Ann doesn't tell anyone that she has a cancerous tumor). Ann goes outside to catch a bus home. She tells Don that she has anemia and its nothing to worry about. Later that night Ann takes a ride to the local diner. She sits down and writes a list of things to do before she dies.
1) Tell my daughters that I love them
2) Find Don a new wife. One that the kids will love
3) Record Birthday messages for the girls until they're 18
4) Go to whale beach and have a big picnic
5) Smoke and drink as much as I want
6) Say what I'm thinking all the time
7) Make love with another man to see what its like
8) Make someone fall in love with me
9) Go and see dad in jail
10) Get a makeover
The waitress tells Ann that the lotto machine is open. She tells Ann that if she wins she will get plastic surgery to look like a model. Ann then follows #6 on her list and says "That's the stupidest thing I have ever heard of"
The next morning, Ann makes the family breakfast. She drives her two kids to school and follows #1 on her list and says that she loves them very much. Next Ann follows #10 on her list and gets her nails and hair done. That night Ann drives home. In a voice over, she says that she is lonely.
Ann drives to a local bar. Ann sees her hair dresser and they talk. Ann feels bored and goes to the laundry mat. This is where she meets Lee (Mark Ruffalo) He offers her coffee. He comes back with it and sees Ann sleeping on the couch. Lee watches her all night sleep. They talk a little and Lee gives Ann a book that he think she would like. Ann goes back home and opens the book. On the front page is Lees phone number.
She goes next door to her moms house and sees her two little girls talking with the mom. Patsy says that the mom talked about Anns childhood. Ann yells at the mom and tells her not to fill the kids heads with such stupid stories. They leave and Ann puts her kids to sleep. Ann drives off and parks by the ocean. She follows #3 on her list and records birthday messages for her two kids. She also writes letters to her parents and Don explaining why she didn't tell them that she had cancer.
Ann goes to work. She is cleaning the hallway and she starts to feel sick to her stomach. Laurie takes her into the bathroom and cleans her up. Ann explains to Laurie the reason why she is so sick is because her life has been hell. Such as losing a best friend when she was 8 years old, and not getting invited to a party when she was 15 years old and when she was 17 and she had her first kid and she had to grow up overnight.
After work, Ann calls Lee and takes a ride to his house. She notices that Lees house doesn't have a lot of furniture. Lee says that he just hasn't had the time to go shopping. They sit down and talk. Lee says that he has a really good CD that he wants Ann to listen to. He takes her out in the car and he puts on the CD. After a while they start to kiss. This of course follows #7 and #8 on her list.
The next morning, Ann goes back to see her doctor. She gives him a box of all the letters and birthday messages that she made for the people she loves. Including Lee. She wants him to give it to them when she dies. He takes the box and gives Ann some painkillers and candy. Later that night, Ann goes to work. She invites Laurie to come over and have dinner tomorrow night. We next see Ann in the supermarket. In a voice over we hear her say that people will just by any food and throw it in their cart even if its bad for them. We then see in slow motion people start to dance in the aisles. (That part didn't really make any sense but I'm assuming that's how its suppose to be).
That night we see Laurie over for dinner. Patsy starts playing with her food and Laurie tells her to stop. We just see here the family and Laurie having a good time.
The next day, we see the two girls playing with the new neighbor. Her name is also Ann and she is a nurse. Ann tells Nurse Ann to watch her kids because Ann is going out for a little while. Ann goes to meet Lee. They talk and start to dance and hug. After that, Ann goes to the neighbors house to pick up the kids. Ann invites Nurse Ann in to have coffee. They talk and Ann realizes that Nurse Ann is perfect for Don. This of course follows #2 on Anns list. Later that night, Ann goes to visit Lee. They cuddle up and read.
After that, Ann goes to pick her mom up from work. They talk about Anns father. This reminds Ann to go and visit her dad in jail. They talk for a while and then Ann leaves. Back at home, Ann sits down and records another message for her husband. Saying that she loves him very much and explains more about why she didnt tell him about the cancer.
The next day, Ann goes with Lee to lunch. He tells her all the places that he would like to take her in the future.
Ann starts to get upset because of the fact that she won't be able to go to those places. They walk outside and begin to talk. Lee says that he loves Ann and wants to be with her the rest of his life. She kisses him and he leaves. Don shows up and drives Ann home. We next see Ann laying in bed. She sees Nurse Ann and Don cooking dinner and the two kids laughing and having fun. In a voice over Ann says that the image she sees is how she hopes her life will be without her.
We next see various shots of life go by and what happens to the people Ann loved:
Lee listening to Anns voice recording that she left him and that he is adding stuff to his house finally.
Don upset standing on a bridge over water.
Anns mom at a bar with another man finally becoming social.
Don married Nurse Ann and they are living a happy life together.