Jill Stevens


The film opens by intercutting scenes from the lives of the main characters, Billy Darcy and Lizzie Bennett. Billy, a high-school swimming star, is doing his morning workout of swimming laps and jogging. Lizzie, a clever girl burdened by the need to care for her dysfunctional family, is up early studying and getting her sisters ready for school.

At school, Billy arrives with his friend Chris, and Lizzie with her sister, Jenna. While Chris falls for Jenna, Billy barely notices Lizzie even when she shows up in his English class. Lizzie’s opinion of Billy worsens when she overhears him ridiculing her at a football game. She laughs at him, her obvious disdain for him making him start looking closer. Before long Billy is falling in love with her. But Lizzie’s dislike of Billy makes it easy for a new student, Gary Whedon, to fill her head with awful lies about Billy. Because of Chris and Jenna, Billy and Lizzie are thrown together often so when Billy tries to kiss her in the backseat of Chris’ car one night, Lizzie first responds, then catches herself and confronts him with the rumors she’s heard. To defend himself, Billy e-mails Lizzie with the truth of what happened. She learns that it was Gary, not Billy, who attempted to rape Billy’s younger sister at a party. Lizzie is angry at herself for being so blind and allowing her own pride and prejudice to get in the way of reason. When she and Billy are accidentally paired for a class project, it is tense. But when Lizzie is threatened by Gary, Billy comes to her rescue. A tentative friendship springs up between them that quickly turns to passion. Just as their love begins to blossom, a new crisis threatens to ruin everything.

Lizzie’s younger sister Laney suffers from bipolar disorder. When she disappears from school with a vengeful Gary Whedon, it is up to Billy to find her before it is too late. While Lizzie thinks Billy has abandoned her in order to take care of his swimming career, he is actually tracking Laney down and rescuing her from an older, wilder crowd. He brings her to the hospital where she is treated for drug overdose. The next day, Lizzie tries to distance herself from him so that his life won’t be disturbed by the chaos that dominates hers. He is hurt and walks away. When Lizzie finds out that Billy was the one who helped Laney, she races to his swim meet. He is just getting out of the pool when she tackles him, knocking them both into the pool. Breathless and desperate to keep him, Lizzie kisses him and tells him she loves him. At first he is reluctant, afraid it is only gratitude, but she holds on for dear life and he lets himself be persuaded.

Copyright 2005 Jill Stevens
All Rights Reserved