Just Weird: Expelled from boarding school, Davis must move in with his father and step-family. His step-brother, a world-class swimmer, is indifferent to his presence while his step-mother and step-sister treat him with outright disdain. His new school, a strict all-boys institution, is another source of misery, but for a beautiful young teacher, Ms. Geisner. Davis gets a job delivering newspapers as he struggles with the drudgery of school and home-life until he stumbles upon a party at Ms. Geisner’s house and, as he watches her dance drunkenly to Rock Lobster, confesses his love to her. Humiliated and hungover, Davis must make a speech the following day to the assembly and, at the last minute, recites the lyrics of Rock Lobster, almost causing another expulsion, until his father steps in. Paint: Davis is distressed: he hates his work as a painter, he can’t talk to the girl he loves, and his father has just died. His college friends are no help, always getting stoned and hyping up for the next frat party. Memories of his father dominate Davis’ thoughts as he gets through the day, until he is confronted by his step-brother and told that he is not welcome at their father’s funeral the next day. High on mushrooms, Davis becomes a mess, blacking out and then wandering off, until he runs into his crush, Ellen. He confesses his love for her and finally unburdens his thoughts of his father late into the night, falling asleep on her couch. He gets to the funeral late, dozes off, images of his father floating through his head, and then watches his step-family walk out past, before going back to work and finding Ellen there.Baller: Out in the wilderness of British Columbia to plant trees, Davis discovers that the learning curve is painful; the mosquitoes and black flies are a constant plague, the weather is by turns baking hot and miserably wet, and the specter of snakes, bears and cougars lurk at every turn. Davis toils on, the repetitive routine of planting trees putting him into a meditative state where he can consider his place in the world. Things take a number of turns for the worse – Davis loses his van, cat and girlfriend – and yet Davis continues to rise to the challenge by relentlessly planting. And finally, when a forest fire appears on the horizon, Davis and his friends defy the foreman and escape by driving directly into the smoke, finding their way through and on to a music festival on the west coast.
Davis, atop an extension ladder as he scrapes paint from a gas station sign, loses his balance in a gust of wind. Hanging on for his life, he tries to reflect on the loss of his recently deceased father but just curses to himself instead until finally rescued. He drives off with a co-worker to the next job and they talk idly, neither one of them approaching the topic of the death of Davis’ father. Instead they banter on about to getting drugs and beer for that evening’s frat party.
They arrive at an office building and Davis zones out while he paints a back hallway, daydreaming in vivid detail the moment he arrived at the hospital to find his father dead. Davis races off from his work, through campus, getting to his student radio show on time, while Ellen, a girl who Davis has had a crush on from afar, arrives as an intern. Davis blunders all attempts at communications, returns to his radio booth and drifts off again, remembering his final, painful visits with his father at the hospital. He finishes the radio show and shows up, already half drunk, at the frat party where his step-brother tells him that he is not wanted at their father’s funeral the next day.
High on mushrooms, Davis dissolves into a mess, blacking out and then wandering off until he runs into Ellen. He awkwardly blathers on about her beauty and then finally about his father, impulsively inviting her to the funeral before falling asleep on her couch. He wakes up late, and running across campus again, gets to the funeral at last moment where he sits in the back. Mr. Heaney, an old friend of his father’s, gives Davis life advice while sharing a bottle of scotch whiskey. Davis falls asleep, dreaming of his father, to wake as his step-family is leaving the church.
Davis returns to the gas station, back to the drudgery of scraping paint, when Ellen appears and offers to help.