On the eve of her 25th birthday, JESSICA is adrift. She’s working a dead end job; avoiding her controlling ex-boyfriend; and using her friends, alcohol and whatever else she can to ignore the fact that any sense of purpose she felt during college is gone, and she has absolutely no idea what to do with her life.
Unfortunately Jessica’s attempts at escape have begun to take their toll, both on herself as well as the people she cares about. For instance, Jessica’s best friend PAM is on the verge of landing her dream job and could really use Jessica’s support. But every time Jessica thinks about Pam leaving the waitressing job they’ve shared since college, she can’t help but feel jealous of her friend who – in her mind – seems to have it all figured out.
The only thing Jessica really looks forward to these days is helping her 11-year old neighbor ISABEL practice ballet. Their weekly meetings transport her back to a simpler time, a time when she too wanted to be a dancer. But when Isabel begins expressing a desire to advance her skills – skills Jessica was never able to master – she finds herself selfishly trying to hold the little girl back.
When Jessica’s long-absent father KEN shows up suddenly wanting to rekindle their relationship, she’s had enough, and under the guise of wanting to celebrate her birthday, she drives back to the small hometown where she grew up and the protective arms of her mother, SANDY. But when Jessica blows off a lunch date at the nursing home with mom and grandma, Sandy is beside herself. She can’t believe Jessica would behave so selfishly. As she tries to explain to her daughter that she can’t keep running from her problems, Jessica can’t see past her anger and storms out.
Jessica returns home to find the problems she ran away from there have only gotten worse. Pam and Isabel are mad at her for bailing on her promises, and her father’s selfishness has begun to reveal itself. After a failed attempt to reconnect with Matt leads to a blow-up with Pam, Jessica is left feeling lower than low. She turns to sleazy co-worker ERIC for distraction and comfort, but when the two end up sharing a moment of real intimacy, Jessica finds herself fighting to choke back some powerful and unexpected emotions.
The next day as Jessica stares in the mirror, she begins to realize just how badly she’s been treating the people she cares about. Isabel appears at the door. Jessica apologizes to the little girl, and as their conversation becomes more open and honest, tears begin to stream down Jessica’s cheeks. Isabel reaches out and hugs her friend. With this gesture Jessica can’t help but be reminded of the advice her mother gave her. Jessica knows she needs to stop running from her problems, and she knows where to start – by driving back home and keeping her promise to have lunch with mom and grandma.