BLISS*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Alex
Greg Wittle (Owen Wilson) works an office job where he gets a call from his daughter Emily (Nesta Cooper) asking him to come to a dinner celebrating her graduation. Greg is worried because his relationship with his ex-wife is poor, and wonders if he could just take Emily and his son/her brother Arthur (Jorge Lendeborg) out the next day. At his desk, he sketches a drawing of a beautiful woman. He is recovering from an injury and calls to refill his prescription, only the pharmacy says he has exhausted his refills. After he leaves his office, his wallet flickers on his desk, as if it doesn’t actually exist.
He gets called to his boss Bjorn’s office, where he gets fired. He barely reacts, but then suddenly shoves Bjorn, who falls backward and cracks his head on his desk, and dies. Panicking, Greg hides the body behind the window curtain and leaves the office. He goes to a nearby bar where Isabel Clemens (Salma Hayek) watches him carefully. She reaches her arm out and nothing happens to Greg – she tells him he’s real since he wasn’t affected by her powers. She demonstrates with a wave of her arm that she can move objects with a wave of her hand.
Isabel knows about the murder, and tells Greg she will get him out of the situation since she feels responsible for the situation since she created the world, to begin with. She says in exchange she needs Greg to get an amulet necklace back from her ex-boyfriend, since he is also real and her powers don’t work on him. She says the necklace contains a special yellow crystal that can manipulate the fake world. The ex is passed out, so he easily retrieves the necklace and brings it to her. Isabel explains to Greg that nothing in the world is real except for a few rare people. She uses the power the make the window open, dropping Bjorn’s body out, making it look like a suicide, clearing Greg of suspicion.
Isabel leads Greg to an encampment where she lives – he asks if she’s homeless, she says she lives off the grid. He feels bad about killing Bjorn but Isabel continues to explain that he wasn’t real. Isabel teaches him how to light candles with his mind, and he shows her drawings he has made of his dream home and a town that he sees clearly in his mind. He shows her the photo of the woman, and Isabel says it is of her, and of their real-life outside of this world. They share a kiss. Emily goes to see Arthur and asks for help finding Greg and convincing him to come to graduation – he says he can’t, that they can’t trust him anymore. He implies that their father is constantly injured because he is addicted to prescription painkillers.
Isabel and Greg ingest more yellow crystal and go rollerblading, using their powers to knock people over. Greg begins following Isabel’s belief that there are no consequences because nothing is real. As they leave, they look back and see themselves being arrested. Suddenly, they are the people being arrested and eventually released from jail. Meanwhile, Emily continues looking in shelters for her father. Isabel tells Greg to go ahead without her into a restaurant, and then he sees her get into a car as a prostitute and leave. Arthur witnesses his father looking homeless and unable to buy food because he has no money.
Isabel finds Greg and leads him to a building. She goes in to find a man making the yellow crystals. While he is waiting outside, Emily finds Greg on the street and begs him to come with her, but he says he needs to wait for Isabel. He says he’s excited about her graduation, and she tells him it was two weeks ago. She writes her phone number on a graduation picture and leaves it with him. Isabel comes outside and she and Greg are harassed by a threatening man – Greg consumes multiple crystals (more than Isabel said to) and crushes the man’s van with his telekinetic powers – then he throws up.
Later, he calls Emily but only gets her voicemail. When he returns to the encampment, Isabel freaks out that she didn’t know where he was. She is furious that he tried to see his daughter, and is devastated that he is buying into the illusion of the fake world. She feels like he’s going to drag her down with him. He says maybe they should stop spending time together, and she slaps him. She says they’re soul mates, and he says that her scenario of only her knowing who’s real has forced him to depend on her and he doesn’t believe in her. He wants proof this is all real. She acquiesces and pulls out some rare blue crystals, which she says will eject them from the simulation. Though frightened, Greg takes the crystals.
He wakes up in a scientific facility, where Isabel too wakes up – they are referred to as doctors, and Isabel tells another scientist that Greg became attached in the simulation again. They exit the facility and see a beautiful world. Some people appear holographic, which Isabel says is all the rage. She tells Greg his memory loss will wear off. Greg sees the world looks exactly like his drawings, including their home. Greg’s memory hasn’t returned, which Isabel worries could be because they exited so abruptly. She shows Greg his invention “the thought visualizer”, a machine that illustrates your thoughts. She tells him all about the world, where synthetic biology turned a dying world into a free utopia. She tells him that you have to experience the good to appreciate the bad and vice versa, which is what the simulation was for.
Meanwhile, Emily continues searching for Greg. Isabel tells Greg they need to go to the lab but he convinces her to spend one more day outside the simulation, swimming and enjoying the beauty. They attend a scientific mixer, where another scientist tells Greg he’s heard that there are problems with Isabel’s research. Isabel overhears and gets angry saying no one believes in her. Greg insists he does. At the party, Emily as a hologram appears looking at Greg but is warned by someone that he could be unpredictable. Isabel continues to be angry and says they need to go back into the simulation to get more data, but Greg says he isn’t going back in and she should just publish her research as is.
Isabel presents her research on how bliss can only be achieved by understanding the contrast with the opposite. Isabel brings Greg on stage and asks him how he feels and if he has any complaints – he feels great and is very happy. She plays an interview with him from before he went into the simulation where he is surly and frustrated with life’s small annoyances. She asks him if he’s lacking anyone in his life right now, and he sees a hologram of Emily in the crowd – but he says no. In the original interview, he says there is someone missing. Isabel concludes her research by saying a once frustrated man is now joyous and thrilled about life.
Afterward, Isabel is received extremely positively at a reception. The reception later is sieged by angry protestors and devolves into fighting and mass chaos. Greg continues to see Emily’s hologram and follows it, where it becomes non-holographic. He asks how she can be real – she tells him he isn’t thinking clearly. She gives him the yellow crystal she found at his campsite, and tells him eventually he will need to choose between worlds. Greg takes the yellow crystal and uses his powers to diffuse the protestors, and he and Isabel race to the lab as the world around them continues morphing between the two worlds. Isabel theorizes that they must have brought the simulation into the real world and that they need to go back into the simulation and take blue crystals to stop it.
They enter the simulation and wake up in the homeless encampment in the pouring rain. They begin looking for the blue crystals, and Greg sees Bjorn alive and begins freaking out. They steal a car from one of Isabel’s johns and go to get blue crystals. Isabel pulls a gun from the glove compartment, shoots her supplier and takes the crystals. Meanwhile, Emily goes to Arthur and says she got a call that Greg was panhandling outside of his old office (when he saw Bjorn). The police follow Greg and Isabel to the encampment and surround them. Isabel realizes there are not enough crystals for both of them to exit, and one of them will be trapped inside. Greg says he can’t stay inside and she gives them to him. Greg has another idea – he says she should kill him inside the simulation and meet him on the outside. She doesn’t want to, and says it’s her fault since she created it all. Greg tells her the world is kind of beautiful because you never know what’s going to happen next. Emily arrives, screaming for her dad but is held back by the police. Isabel realizes Greg is still attached to Emily, and he apologizes. He gives her the crystals, and she leads the police toward her so Greg can escape. She then takes the blue crystals.
Greg flees and goes to a rehab clinic. At a group meeting, he presents the photo of his daughter and says, “this woman says she’s my daughter, and I believe her”. Later, Greg meets with Emily and brings her flowers and they hug.
Greg Wittle (Owen Wilson) is leading a normal boring life when he meets Isabel (Salma Hayek), who tells him the whole world is a simulation and by ingesting crystals they have telekinetic powers. Greg's daughter Emily (Nesta Cooper) worries about her father as he becomes homeless and missing. Greg begins to question whether what Isabel is saying is real, and so they take enough crystals to eject from the simulation. Outside of the simulation, they are scientists testing Isabel's project - because the world has become a utopia, she has created a terrible world to make people appreciate how good they have it. The walls between worlds come crashing in and Isabel worries they brought it back with them. They reenter the simulation to try to fix it, but only have enough crystals for one of them to leave. Isabel gives them to Greg, but he is too attached to his daughter and thinks the world where anything can happen is beautiful, so Isabel exits the simulation and Greg goes to rehab and reunites with his daughter.