ZOLA*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens with Aziah “Zola” King (Taylour Paige) brushing her hair next to another woman, Stefani (Riley Keough). Zola then addresses the viewers and utters the now-famous words: “Y’all wanna hear a story about why me and this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense.” Additional text states that the following was inspired by a 148-tweet story posted to Twitter, and that most of it is true.
Zola works as a waitress and lives with her boyfriend Sean (Ari’el Stachel). While working one night, she meets Stefani with an older man accompanying her. Stefani compliments Zola’s physique and the two bond over pole dancing. She later approaches Zola and invites her to dance at a club with her. Zola agrees, and she joins Stefani for pole dancing, where they earn a substantial amount of tips. The ladies chat afterward, with Zola learning that Stefani is a single mother.
The next day, Stefani texts Zola about going to Miami to dance at more clubs. Zola is a bit unsure at first but eventually agrees. When Zola asks Stefani who is going, she initially dodges the question until Zola asks again, to which Stefani says they will be joined by her boyfriend and her roommate. Zola has sex with Sean, who expresses some concern about her going off on the trip.
The following morning, Zola is picked up by Stefani, plus her boyfriend Derrek (Nicholas Braun) and “roommate” X (Colman Domingo). They make the drive to Florida, having a good road trip, and they make it to a seedy motel in Tampa. Zola and Stefani leave for the clubs together while Derrek stays behind at the motel.
At the club, Zola is put off by the pasties the dancers are required to wear, as she prefers to dance fully nude, but Stefani convinced her to wear them. When Stefani mentions that X has been “taking care of her”, Zola figures that means he is her pimp. After making some good tips, Zola tells the viewers to watch every move Stefani makes. She takes multiple pictures of her and Zola together in different friend poses. Afterward, the ladies go back to X’s car, where they tell him they barely made anything on tips. He then tells them to start trapping (prostituting). Zola sees that X set up a Backpage ad for both of them, using the pictures Stefani took. Zola intends to leave, but X threatens her since he picked her up from where she lives, so he forces her to stick around. Zola confronts Stefani about this, but she defends herself by saying that X has threatened her and her child.
X takes the ladies to a hotel where they wait for callers to arrive. The first is a skeevy-looking guy who is there to see Stefani. Zola has no choice but to stand around and witness them have sex. Zola then learns that Stefani only made $150 for the encounter, knowing they can fetch a higher price for her services. Zola takes pictures of Stefani and makes a new ad for her, demanding $500 for an encounter. Soon, many more men of varying appearances (some old and fat, others young and handsome) arrive to see Stefani, and the women make $8000 in that night.
Meanwhile, Derrek leaves Stefani many voicemails and messages as he waits for her to return. He goes out on the town and meets a guy named Dion (Jason Mitchell), who previously noticed Derrek with Zola and Stefani earlier. Derrek calls Stefani and goes off on her and Zola.
X goes to the ladies’ hotel room and learns about how much money they made the previous night. He takes most of the money for himself, but leaves about $500 to Zola and none for Stefani. When they go back to the motel, they find Derrek talking to Dion. After Derrek tells X that he told Dion about them, he becomes furious because he knows that Dion now knows about their business, so he has everyone pack their things and move out.
X brings everyone to a different hotel not far from their previous location. Derrek argues with Stefani about what she has been doing, as he knows that she has done it before, and he mentions in front of Zola that Stefani has done this before to another girl, but Stefani tells Zola that he is just talking crazy because he is bipolar. Derrek takes things further by screenshotting the Backpage ad and posting it to Facebook where Stefani’s family can see. X sees the ad and returns with his tall, muscular fiance, Baybe (Sophie Hall), who draws a gun on Derrek and forces him to delete the post. Derrek does so, and Baybe smashes the phone. X entrusts Zola to keep an eye on the two, and he gives her a gun for protection.
Zola and Stefani continue to advertise, with one group of men calling them over with the intent on paying for both. Zola stays out of the acts and only accompanies Stefani, watching as the guys circle around her. Stefani then addresses the viewers by stating her own point-of-view, painting Zola as stereotypically trashy and herself as an innocent Christian woman roped into this predicament.
The ladies are then sent to a hotel for an incall, but when they open the door, Stefani is pulled inside, while Zola runs away. She gets Derrek and X to come for help. When they get to the room, they find that it is Dion and his accomplice CC (Jarquale Stewart) having abducted Stefani. She is unconscious inside a closet. After forcing the three to come inside, X lets Dion touch Zola before drawing his gun on Dion. When Dion tries to call X’s bluff, X shoots him in the neck before running away with Zola, Stefani, and Derrek.
The group returns to X’s home with Baybe. After the entire ordeal, Derrek threatens to commit suicide to Stefani. Derrek ends up jumping over the balcony and hitting the ground next to the pool, but he survives, albeit with a nasty head wound.
X drives everyone back home. Although Stefani continues trying to sweet-talk Zola, it is clear from her expression that their friendship is over.
The film is a dramatization of a notorious 148-post Twitter thread detailing a weekend in Florida gone wrong.
Aziah "Zola" King is a waitress/dancer who meets fellow dancer Stefani. After the two bond and make money dancing at a club, Stefani invites Zola to Florida to make more money at clubs while being accompanied by Stefani's boyfriend Derrek and her "roommate" X. While there, X forces the women to become prostitutes, but only Stefani partakes in the acts while Zola helps create an ad for her to generate more profit. Meanwhile, Derrek is upset at Stefani for doing sex work and apparently befriends another man named Dion.
During one call, Stefani is abducted by Dion and his accomplice. Zola gets X and Derrek for help, which leads to a violent confrontation that ends with X shooting Dion before getting Stefani out of there. Derrek attempts suicide but only injures himself out of the stress from the whole ordeal.
X drives the group home, and Zola ends her friendship with Stefani.