NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Emilio.

The film opens with the Narrator (Chris Evans) explaining that when someone meets an attractive person, their pupils dilate 20%. He also explains that the same chemicals the brain makes when someone falls in love is the same reaction that narcotics have on it. He goes on to explain that he’s learning these facts because he has been hired to write a screenplay for a romantic comedy, despite the fact that he’s never actually been in love himself.

He goes on to say that writing a screenplay is a slow-moving process. He says that he has a process that helps him to visualize someone in love. He says that he imagines himself as the person in love. He says that the closest he came to being in love was when he was a little boy and he became infatuated with his babysitter.

Since then, he says that his usual experiences in love go something like this:

GIRL: I always thought you were pretty cute.
NARRATOR: You still got that boyfriend?
GIRL: Yeah.
NARRATOR: You guys in love?

She shrugs and the next scene shows them making out. The next scene shows him getting punched out by her boyfriend. He says that maybe some backstory will help us to understand him.

A title card comes up saying “Backstory”.

The narrator is getting offered the opportunity to write a script for a romantic comedy by his agent (Anthony Mackie). The agent says that the studio has already got Ashley Tisdale and Matthew Morrison in line for the main leads of the film. He tells him that this movie is going to be huge. The agent tells the narrator that if all goes well, the producer of the romantic comedy has got a big action movie coming up, which the narrator is dying to do.

In the next scene, we meet the narrator’s best friend, Scott (Topher Grace). He’s having a conversation with a book store employee over which movie is more romantic: “The Terminator” or “Ghost”. Scott is unable to convince the book store employee that “Ghost” is more romantic than “The Terminator”.

The narrator explains that him and Scott have been best friends since they met. The narrator tells Scott about an idea that he has for a romantic comedy. He tells Scott that he will write a script about a man and a woman, both with Multiple Personality Syndrome. One of the man's personalities will fall in love with one of the woman's personalities. When Scott says that actually sounds pretty good, the narrator says that he wants to write something about love that isn't romantic or funny. Scott says that that idea sounds like a downer.

The narrator goes to tell a story about love. He explains that as a boy, he saw his mother abandon him to go to Chile with a guy named Philip, leaving him with his granddad. So, whenever a woman tells him that she loves him, the narrator responds with "I just don't see myself feeling the same about you". He then mentions "that was until I met this girl".

The scene cuts to the narrator waiting for Scott, outside a bathroom at a charity event. A woman walks up to the narrator, as he is talking to Scott. The narrator says that if he hears another "4" talk about her reading pad, his sperm is will start eating themselves. At that moment, the "girl" (Michelle Monaghan) (whose name is also never revealed) stops and looks at the narrator. She tells him that after a few drinks, those "4s" are probably going to look like "6s". He tells her that she has a good point and that the rest of his night is going to be filled with online shopping and eating his feelings away. She tells him, "I figured you for a porn guy". He replies that he's off of porn, because it objectifies women.

She asks him if he's up for a social experiment. They both go around and hit on various older people. When the narrator is about to be kissed by a much older woman, the "girl" drags him away, stopping only to notice that they're holding hands. The narrator sees a stuffy-looking man (Ioan Gruffudd) looking at them. The narrator tells the "girl" to do something suggestive towards him, to which she reveals that that man is her boyfriend, leaving the narrator stunned. The "girl" goes over to "Stuffy" (as the narrator calls him) and leaves. The narrator precedes to text another woman to get his mind off of what happened. In the middle of a date, the narrator goes back to the charity event. He asks the woman at the front desk, if she happens to know who the "girl" was. She tells him "no". He spots the guest list on her desk, which he steals. When he gets back to the car, he asks his date if there is any place that he could drop her off. She punches him in the face.

The narrator informs us that he's a member of the Los Angeles Gun Club, where we're introduced to his friends: Lyle (Martin Starr), who's written the first 20 pages of 16 different screenplays and 12 novels, Samson (Luke Wilson), a graphic novelist, Mallory (Aubrey Plaza), writer of intensely personal one-woman shows, and Scott. The narrator says that him and Mallory sleep together sometimes for research purposes. Each member has their own opinion of love. Most of them have a distorted view of it. Scott appears to be the only one who believes that love is a real thing.

At his granddad's, the narrator begins to tell him about the "girl". His granddad tells him that he didn't know he was a quitter. In response, the narrator begins to go with Scott to different charity events, hoping that he will run into the "girl" again. At one of the events, the narrator is questioned by a man (Patrick Warburton) who has seen the narrator at lots of different charities. The narrator begins to lie and make up stories about why he spends lots of time for different charities. In voiceover, he says that he didn't even know what he was saying.

At another charity event, the narrator and Scott are shocked to discover that it's a $500 a plate dinner. At the podium, the man from the earlier charity, encourages the narrator to come up and give a testimony about his time spent with charities. The crowd encourages him to give a speech. Even Scott encourages him too. At the podium, he gives an awkward speech. Near the end, he sees the "girl". He finishes the speech and goes to talk to her. She tells him that she's there because the company she works for bought a table.

They go for a walk on the beach. The narrator tries to convince himself to tell her the truth about not being the man she thinks he is. They eventually go out to dinner on a "friend date". The narrator talks to Mallory, who tells him that men and women can't just be friends. She tells him that if he doesn't want to blow the date, he should take the "girl" out to a public place. He proceeds to take the "girl" out to a museum, where everything seems to go okay. At the end of the "friend date", the "girl" tells him that it was fun. They part ways for the night. The narrator goes back to his car, where he gets mad and starts banging stuff around. The "girl" proceeds to show up beside his car. She tells him that her car wouldn't start. He gives her a ride a home. She asks him what his plans are for Thursday, since she has to go to another charity event. Thinking, he tries to talk himself out of going, but he tells her that he is free that day. Instead of giving her a kiss good night, the narrator gives her a high-five.

Later on at a bowling alley, the gang makes fun of the narrator for it. Mallory concludes that the narrator is falling in love with the "girl". The narrator tries to deny it. Mallory says that if he isn't, then he needs to break it off. On Thursday, the narrator, dressed in a suit, goes to see the "girl" and finds her in a room with others dressed for yoga. She tells him that she forgot to tell him that the charity is actually a yoga session. The narrator and the "girl" begin to bond even more over the course of the day. He asks her about her relationship with "Stuffy". She says that they will probably get married, but that she is not ready right now. He asks her why she is with him. She tells him that he is stable, loves his job and is loved by her family and friends.

The next day, the narrator gets grilled by his granddad and Scott for futtering around with the "girl". Granddad tells the narrator about his grandmother. Granddad says that he stole her from another man, claiming that he saved her. The narrator visualizes the story, with him in place of his grandfather, the "girl" in place of his grandmother, and "Stuffy" in place of the other man. Granddad compares it to the situation that the narrator is in. He tells the narrator that women want to be pursued.

He gets up the nerve to go to the "girl's" apartment. After mistaking someone else's apartment for hers, she agrees to out with him somewhere. They go for a walk on the docks, where he tells her about his granddad. He tells her that his granddad is the one who raised him after his mom abandoned him. He asks her if there was one place that she could go to, what would it be? She tells him that she would like to go to Costa Rica. He asks her why and she tells him that she has always wanted to go there.

They go to a Spanish supermarket, where the "girl" asks him to help her pick out a birthday card. He asks her whose birthday it is. She tells him that it's her own. He asks her why she’s picking out a birthday card for herself. She tells him that her father sent her a birthday card before he committed suicide. She got it on her birthday, after her father had already killed himself. She tells him that every year she goes and picks out a card that she believes her father would have picked out for her. After hearing her tell her story, the narrator kisses the "girl".

The next day, the "girl" calls the narrator to talk. At a diner, she tells him that the friend thing with them has gotten off track. She tells him that since the kiss, she cannot eat or sleep. He asks her if they should have sex, to which she declines. He tells her that he doesn't want to be “just friends” with her. She says that the kiss was a mistake. The "girl" orders ice cream, but the waiter says that they are out. The narrator asks the waiter to bring him some whipped cream and jelly. The narrator proceeds to make "ice cream" with whipped cream, half and half creamer and jelly. This causes the "girl" to laugh. The next scene shows them having sex.

The next morning, the "girl" tells him that last night didn't mean anything. He asks her if she's going to tell "Stuffy" about them, to which she says "no". He tells her that he thought that what they had was special, but she says it wasn't. He leaves her apartment.

Later, he meets with the gang at a bar. They tell him that he is needy. He begins to accept that he is needy. The narrator calls the "girl" to see if she wants to have a “truce lunch”. She apologizes for how she acted. While the narrator and the "girl" are having lunch, the man from the charity comes to the table. He confronts the narrator about not having seen him at any charities recently. The narrator tells the man that he wasn't exactly honest about what he does. The man walks away, resisting the chance to throw a drink into the narrator's face, but instead throwing it into a nearby bush. The "girl" decides to leave, since she also realizes that the narrator has been lying to her.

After this, the narrator starts becoming depressed. His publisher tries to distract him by taking him to a party, but the narrator leaves the party early. The narrator goes to talk to Lyle. Lyle tells him to go get advice from Mallory. The narrator goes to see Mallory. Mallory begins to tell him about a guy that she's in love with, but hasn't told him. The narrator asks her if she could go back and tell that guy, would she. All of a sudden, Mallory tells the narrator that she loves him. The narrator grabs a bottle of Vodka and leaves. As he walks out the door, Mallory says "and that's why I never told you".

That night, the narrator has a dream where he is in his bed and Ashley Tisdale and Matthew Morrison are standing over him. Ashley has a gun and is demanding the script for the romantic comedy. Matthew gets close to the narrator and threatens to slit the narrator's throat and is going to "penetrate his mind". The narrator wakes up to his phone ringing. It's the "girl". She tells the narrator that she has to tell him something.

In the next scene, they are at the beach. The "girl" tells the narrator that she is engaged to "Stuffy". He tells her that she does not love "Stuffy". He grabs her hand and takes her engagement ring off her finger. He tells her that he loves her and throws her ring into the sand. He asks her to tell him one good reason as to why she's wants to marry "Stuffy" now. She says that it makes sense. The narrator says that he wants to hear her profess her love for him (the narrator). She says that she cannot give him that.

The narrator talks to Scott at a bar. Scott tells him that he brought all this on himself when he started going after a girl who already had a boyfriend. Scott tells him that if he really loves her, maybe he should let her go. The narrator begins to question Scott's own love life. It is revealed that Scott is gay and is in love with the guy that works at the bookstore. The narrator tells Scott that he has no right to tell him what to do, when he (Scott) isn't even following his own advice. Scott criticizes the narrator for being so self-absorbed, since he is basically oblivious to all of his friends and their problems and he barely visits his granddad. The narrator unknowingly reveals that he lied to Scott about reading his favorite book "Love in the Time of Cholera". Scott tells the narrator that he wouldn't want to be in the film of his (the narrator) love life, since it's only about one person. He gets up and leaves.

The narrator gets drunk and goes to the "girl's" house. He goes to her house and drunkenly rants about why she doesn't belong with "Stuffy". The narrator even mentions that sex with him is better than it is with "Stuffy". "Stuffy" is actually within hearing distance of everything being said. "Stuffy" comes out and gets into a fight with the narrator, which ends with the narrator throwing up on "Stuffy's" shoes.

The "girl" goes over to the narrator, where she tells him that she is going to get married in San Francisco. He asks her if she hates him. She says that she doesn't, then she says, "I nothing you".

The next morning, the narrator wakes up on Scott's couch. Scott comes in and tells the narrator that Granddad died. After the funeral, the narrator, in voiceover, says that death brings a change of focus. It opens our eyes and shifts your focus to the important things. The narrator is seen opening a box and grabs a book. It is "Love in the Time of Cholera". Inside is a message from Scott. The message says that this book changed his (Scott's) life and he wishes to share it with whoever found it.

After reading the book, the narrator applies it to his own life. He says that there are people in our lives that are so important, they dwarf everything else. In the narrator's life, it's his friends: Scott, Lyle, Samson, Mallory, Granddad and the "girl". He says that it's up to us to figure out who those people are in our own lives. He asks us, if we had to spend the rest of our lives on a boat, who are those people that are the must-haves? Who are those people that you would spend the rest of your life on a boat with? The ones you can't live without. He says to do everything you can to let those people know how you feel about them. The narrator says that he hopes that it isn't too late for him.

Immediately after this, he finishes the script for the romantic comedy. After finishing the script, the narrator makes up with Scott and goes out to celebrate. There, he sees Scott with the guy from the bookstore. He also sees Mallory, who is with another guy. Mallory and the narrator make amends as well. Samson and Lyle congratulate the narrator on finishing the script.

In voiceover, the narrator says that his boat is pretty full, but it still feels like something is missing. He decides to stop the "girl's" wedding. He goes to San Francisco. When he eventually finds the "girl", she tells him that she didn't marry "Stuffy" because it felt wrong for both of them. The narrator tells her that they met at a bad time, since she was already in a relationship and he couldn't sustain one. But, he feels different now than before. The "girl" tries to tell him that they are both disasters, since he lied about his life and she cheated on "Stuffy". She says because of that, they both don't deserve love. He says "that means we're perfect for each other". He says that he knows there's a chance that it might not work between them, but that he's willing to risk it for her. This wins her over and they kiss.

In a closing voiceover, the narrator says that everyone has their own ideas, philosophies and rules about love. But, he says that none of that matters, because love is not a "thinking thing", it's a "feeling thing".

His final words are: "Live your own story, and don't worry...I promise I won't put myself in it."


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The narrator (Chris Evans) (whose name is never revealed) is a screenwriter, desperately trying to finish a script for a romantic comedy. He meets a girl (Michelle Monaghan) (whose name is also never revealed) and falls in love with her. However, she already has a boyfriend (Ioan Gruffudd). They try to remain friends, but end up sleeping together. Eventually, she decides to stay with her boyfriend and breaks it off with the narrator.

With the help of his friends, the narrator is able to discover what love is. The narrator comes to the conclusion that he is in love and decides to stop the girl’s wedding. When he gets there, he finds out that they didn’t get married after all. The girl tries to come up with excuses as to why they (her and the narrator) don’t belong together, but the narrator says that he knows there’s a chance that their relationship won’t work, but he’s willing to risk it for her. This wins her over and they kiss.

In a closing voiceover, the narrator says that everyone has their own ideas, philosophies and rules about love. But, he says that none of that matters, because love is not a "thinking thing", it's a "feeling thing".

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