CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD
The song “I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge plays. A gay man and a fat woman appear in two spotlights dressed in high drag - perhaps red and black and glitter and vampiric and fabulous and sexy and queer. This is Sam and Leo. They move and pose and dance to the song in a high-fashion, runway style. When they are done, they exit and the song ends.
Sam arrives at the New York apartment that she shares with her best friend Leo. She has take-out with her. They begin to eat and banter about gentrification, the sexuality of a friend’s husband, another friend’s concert, and the book that Sam is currently writing. Sam and Leo are both writers. They turn on the television - a tradition for them. Tonight it’s Top Chef. While they continue to banter, Leo asks Sam if she can help him cover a few bills this month. Sam agrees, and Leo promises to pay her back. On tv, one of the chefs is unable to plate their food in time and Sam and Leo have a fit of exasperation at the incompetence.
Sam and Leo have a silent altercation over an empty soda bottle in the refrigerator. It ends with the two of them sitting on opposite ends of the couch watching television and filling their nails.
It is very late at night and Sam is playing video games. Leo enters and expresses that he is feeling like he is wasting his life, and that despite having lots of good ideas, he has no work to show for himself. Sam does her best to be there for Leo, although this is a conversation that they’ve had many times before. Mike, Sam’s very attractive boyfriend, is sleeping over, and when Sam and Leo get too loud, Mike calls from the bedroom for Sam to come to bed. She says that she will soon. Leo really likes Mike, and although she hates herself for it, Sam really likes Mike too. Sam suggests that she and Leo start regularly scheduling time for the two of them to write together, for accountability. Overjoyed, Leo thanks Sam. Leo tells Sam that she deserves the happiness of her relationship.
Sam and Leo splash each other with water from the sink. It’s a game and it gets intense. Quickly Leo suggests that they get back to writing.
Leo clips is toenails while he watches The Golden Girls, humming the theme song to himself.
Sam comes home after a long, hot day to find Chloe sitting in the apartment. Chloe is Leo’s friend from work whom he invited over. Sam is suddenly put off by her, but tries to play nice. The two chat for a bit before Leo finally enters with more alcohol. Leo is excited for Sam and Chloe to meet. And while Chloe is excited as well, it becomes clear that Sam is very uncomfortable. Leo shares that Chloe is also a writer. After Chloe asks, Sam shares what her book is about. Chloe is enthralled and expresses interest in reading it, before Leo suggests that Chloe share what her book is about. She does, and the air gets more awkward. After more drinking and more tension, Chloe makes an unrelated comment about Sam’s size. Leo orders Chloe a car home. After Chloe leaves, Sam expresses that she did not like Chloe. Leo is frustrated by Sam’s behavior and goes to escort Chloe to her ride. Sam is stunned.
Leo enters in the middle of the night, wasted. He turn on loud music and begins to dance. Sam yells at him from her bedroom. Leo makes his way to her room and she kicks him out. He goes to the fridge and stares at it. Sam enters and begins to sing the song and chase Leo around the apartment. He is delighted and terrified. When the chorus plays, they both dance and sing. They finish with gusto, and when the song ends they both go directly to bed.
Leo sits on the floor surrounded by index cards, and helps Sam with the structure of her book. They land on an order of events that looks like it might work, and Sam hopes that she might be able to submit the book soon. Leo tells Sam that he is very proud of her. Sam recognizes that Leo is struggling with her progress and his lack of progress. Despite this being true, Leo is genuinely happy for Sam.
Sam is sitting at home alone with the television on. She is on her phone, distracted. Leo enters, and Sam asks where he has been - they had plans to write together tonight. Leo says he went out for a few drinks with colleagues from work and his phone died. Sam expresses that she feels like Leo has been avoiding her recently. Leo tells her that he is not jealous of her writing success. Sam tells Leo that she is not jealous of his other friends and their happy hours. A standoff.
Sam is irate, because Leo went to a Halloween party dressed as a pair with Chloe instead of her when they had already decided that they were going as a pair, like they do every year. Leo admits that he did it on purpose to see if Sam still loves him and that it makes him happy that Sam is jealous of Chloe. Sam says that she does not like Chloe and that Leo has to stop using Chloe against her. Leo says that if Sam really gave Chloe a chance, she would probably like her. Sam fundamentally disagrees, but shares that she loves Leo unconditionally. Leo is not sure that they have the same definition of “unconditionally.” Sam lays her heart bare to Leo. Leo tells Sam that he doesn’t want them to break up. Sam begs him to not break up with her.
Sam enters the apartment with her hands full of groceries. Again, she is greeted by Chloe, who helps with the groceries. Chloe shares that Leo sent her Sam’s novel, and that she loved it and is very impressed with Sam. Chloe says she could send it to a publishing friend if Sam was interested. Sam thanks Chloe and says that she will let her know. Chloe tells Sam that she thinks it’s cool that Mike is moving in. Confused, Sam asks if Leo said that. Chloe says that Leo mentioned it when he asked about moving in with Chloe because Mike was moving in with Sam. Chloe realizes that this is news to Sam. Chloe tries to do damage control, but Sam assures her that all is well. Leo enters from the cold, and goes to change clothes before he and Chloe head out. Once they are alone, Chloe asks Sam why she hates her. After a few attempts to quell this line of questioning, Sam shares with Chloe that she doesn’t hate her, she just doesn’t care about her. The two of them walk through the world with completely different experiences of life. Sam does not feel like Chloe understands that, and could stand to worry less about being liked and more about being an interesting person. Leo enters and can tell that something has gone wrong. Chloe covers well, and exits after saying goodbye to Sam. Once she is gone, Leo asks Sam what happened. Sam asks Leo why he didn’t tell her that he is moving out. This leads to an argument where Leo tells Sam to get a life that isn’t wrapped up in him and Sam gets a bit scary in her desperation to keep their relationship intact. Leo tells Sam that he is moving out in January.
Leo is anxious. Sam enters and shares that she sold her book. Leo is excited for her and asks her how much she is getting for it. Sam suggests that she’s not sure since is a debut novel. After a bit, Sam asks Leo what’s wrong, and Leo shares that he has not heard from Chloe in weeks. She quit her job, blocked him on social media, and won’t answer his text or calls. Leo asks if something happened the last night that Chloe was over. Sam says no, and Chloe probably just needed a change and Leo should just let her go. Sam offers a few things that she and Leo could do, but Leo is not in the mood. He tells Sam that he gave Chloe his rent deposit plus first and last month’s rent - his is fully out of money, and has no way of reaching Chloe. Sam tells Leo that she already has plans to rent out his room, but that she would still be able to back out of that agreement. Leo is grateful. He admits that Sam was right about Chloe all along, and that he should have listened to her. They embrace.
LATER. PERHAPS SIX MONTHS. PERHAPS A YEAR.
Leo sits alone in the apartment. Sam enters with take out, and immediately recognizes that something is very wrong. The bathroom door opens and Chloe enters. Chloe tells Sam that she has told Leo everything. Chloe writes a check out to Sam and apologizes to Leo. It is revealed that Sam paid Chloe to cut off contact with Leo. Chloe accepted the offer, because it was so much money and she wanted to finish her novel so badly. Chloe has come to make things right, but accepts that forgiveness might not be in the cards for her. She apologizes again to Leo and leaves. Leo asks Sam how much she paid Chloe to cut her off, and Sam tells him $100,000 from the advance of her book. Leo goes to his room to gather his things as Sam tries desperately and fruitlessly to keep him from leaving.
FIVE YEARS LATER
Sam walks up to Leo at a mutual friend’s wedding. He looks great in a sexy suit, and she looks amazing in an outfit that resembles, ever so slightly, high drag. The two catch up. Sam is now engaged to Mike. Leo is an English teacher. Sam tries to begin a conversation about how things ended between them, but Leo cuts her off and says that he forgives her. He tells her that he read her new book twice and loved it - he is very proud of her. Sam begins to cry. The music at the wedding changes to “I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge. Sam hold out her hand to Leo. He takes it. They start to dance with a chemistry that is undeniable. The embrace fiercely - a forever goodbye.