Placid Lake has always been different. Always gone a little too far. He has brilliant ideas which have either brought him great success or devastating failure. Usually the latter. He doesn’t care: being different in a sea of mediocrity is okay by him.
On Graduation night it all comes to a head. Having won a prize for his video film “Life is Superdooper”, an upbeat celebration of school life, he switches the films for a darker expose of the underbelly of the school: drug dealing school captains, murderous teachers and sex for supermodel jobs. He feels he’s won a victory, revenge on all those who’ve tormented him, but he has, in fact, gone too far and, later that night, ends up flying off the roof of the school landing with a thud and breaking pretty much every bone in his body. As he recuperates, his parents, his best friend Gemma, the police and his enemies wait to hear what he’ll say when his jaw is unwired and the full body cast is cut away. He ponders how and why this happened and comes to the conclusion that he did it to himself, by virtue of who he is. He makes a decision, to change who he is, to become a normal straight-laced person of moderation. He uses his hospital time wisely, reading Anthony Robbins, studying George Bush Jr and the like.
On release from the hospital, he gets a job at an insurance company and embarks on trying to normalise relations with Gemma, i.e. into her bed. He feels that they should consummate their relationship. Gemma, struggling with her own confusion and deeply upset at Placid’s strange behaviour, takes off, leaving him alone.