A Home at the End of the World (2004) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Hours" comes a story that chronicles a dozen years in the lives of two best friends who couldn't be more different. From suburban Cleveland in the 60s, to New York City in the 80s, where they meet an older woman, the film charts a journey of trials, triumphs, loves and losses. Now the question is: can they navigate the unusual triangle they've created and hold their friendship together?

  • Two childhood friends face their past relationships, including their own, alongside a new friend in the 1980's in New York City. Their friendship becomes a love triangle as they struggle with a father's death and an unexpected pregnancy. Together, they shall face each other as they realize that everything they have may not be what they expected.

  • A boy who has experienced many losses in his life grows to manhood and enters into a love triangle with a woman and his boyhood friend.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Contains Spoilers: It's the 1960's. Bobby's close w his old brother who looks out for him and treats him like an equal. He idolizes his older brother and misses him forever when the brother dies in a strange accident during a party thrown by their parents when he walks thru a closed plate glass door. Bobby sees Jonathan in school and Jonathan reminds him of his dead brother. Bobby is a quiet hip kid who's into music and pot. With the death of his mother and his fathers lack of parenting ability Bobby is left on his own to grow and find his way. Jonathan is the only son of traditional parents, his mother a homemaker and his father owns a movie theater. They live together pretending to be happy while all three are secretly wishing for something different. Bobby intoduces Jonathan to pot and rock music and Jonathan brings Bobby to live with his family when Bobby's father dies. In Jonathan's parents Bobby finds the security and love he has been missing since his brother died and his family fell apart.

    Jonathan is in love with Bobby, awed by his ease. One night while smoking pot and listening to music in his bedroom, Jonathan gathers his courage and outs his hand under the sheets and Bobby reciprocates both boys pleasuring each other. This happens every once in a while, but their friendship is more brotherly than romantic. Bobby introduces pot to Jonathan's mother Alice and in doing so sparks life into Alice for the first time in forever. Alice struggles in the boredom of marriage and homemaker life, Bobby's openheartedness and appreciation for her kindness causes Alice to teach Bobby how to bake and cook, something she has always enjoyed and used to keep her boredom at bay. When Jonathan goes on to college Bobby stays behind working in a local bakery and living with Alice and Ned.

    Ned's health is deteriorating and Alice and Ned decide to relocate to the desert for drier climate. They tell Bobby he should find his own life when he wants to come with them. Bobby calls Jonathan, who is now living in NYC and asks if he can stay with him.

    It's the early 1980's and we see the west village in NYC and Bobby gets off the bus to live with Jonathan who he hasn't seen in a few years. Jonathan has gained confidence in his sexuality and has casual encounters with many men. His roommate Clare is a free spirit artist who lives off a small inheritance and sells unusual hats she makes out of odds and ends, She is in love with Jonathan even though he is gay and they tell Bobby that they plan to have a child together, that most married couples are unhappy so they are choosing to make their own life the y they wish it to be. Bobby is a welcome addition to the apartment, he gets a job at a bakery and for awhile the three of them enjoy perfect harmony. Jonathan continues to have one night stands with men he meets on the street and during one of these evenings Clare seduces Bobby after cutting his always long hair and remaking his look to suit her likes. Bobby, having never made love to a woman (or anyone other than Jonathan) reveals his insecurities and Clare takes control of their love making, leaving Bobby crying as he climaxes. They become a couple and fall in love while Jonathan feels left out and a third wheel. Bobby tries to reassure Jonathan that he is essential but very soon after Bobby and Clare awake to find Jonathan moved out without a word, bobby calls Alice in the desert to discover Jonathan has moved back there but when he asks to speak with him Jonathan makes Alice say he has gone to sleep.

    While decorating their Christmas tree the phone rings at Clare and Bobby's apartment - it's Alice telling him that Ned has died. They fly out to the desert where Alice greets Bobby and asks him to hold her so tightly she'll break, Jonathan sees Bobby providing Alice with something he can not and again he feels jealous of Bobby, for providing something to someone he loves which Jonathan can not himself provide. When Bobby begins to tell Clare how wonderful Ned was Jonathan finally blows up, offering his family to Bobby offering to give his entire life to him, because he always seems to want it and because Bobby is a better fit in Jonathan's life. Clare gets angry at Jonathan revealing the truth about her love for them both that she thought perhaps she had found a perfect family in the two of them and that she is pregnant with Bobby's child. Both men are thrilled and they reassure Clare and hug altogether, reunited. When They leave Alice give Jonathan his fathers ashes asking him to spread them somewhere when he is ready to part with them.

    They decide to move out of the city and end up upstate in Woodstock, NY home to Bobby's favorite rock and roll concert. Clare uses her inheratince to buy a house and they prepare it for the birth of their baby, agreeing that both men will be daddy. Time passes and thir daughter is born. Bobby and Jonathan open a restaurant called "Home" with Bobby cooking and Jonathan serving/ hosting, Clare stays home and plays housewife and mother and finds it difficult and lonely. Alice visits, happy and proud of the restaurant, the baby and the life the boys have created for themselves. On a picnic to the field where Woodstock concert was held, Alice confides in Clare that she believes Clare has done it the best way, that traditional marriage is not a happy thing for a woman. Clare feels validated and pleased. However, one evening she looks out the window of the house to see the boys dancing and she sees the ever closeness between Jonathan and Bobby and we wonder who is really the odd one out.

    Jonathan discovers a sore on his hip, and is caught naked , examining it in the bathroom by Bobby, bobby reassures him that it is a bruise but we as the audience know different, it is the first sign that Jonathan has AIDS. Jonathan makes bobby promise not to tell anyone about it. Clare sees the boys out on the porch on night slow dancing to music and shortly thereafter leaves to go visit her mother in Pennsylvania, while packing the baby in the car she asks Bobby to come with her, it's a significant moment for the audience. Bobby says no, that he can't leave the restaurant as its still so new but we see the hurt in her eyes and know she isn't coming back. The boys say goodbye to the baby and Clare and agree to paint the baby's room while she's away, revealing the possibility that they too are aware she might not be back so soon, if at all.

    Jonathan asks Bobby to come with him to a local field and together they spread Ned's ashes- Jonathan telling Bobby that when his time comes that this would be an acceptable place for Bobby to do the same with Jonathan's ashes as well. This tells the audience that Jonathan is aware that he has AIDS and his life has only so much time left. They return to the house together - clearly happy to be together. Their relationship can not be labeled but clearly it works for them and the movie ends with them being together as they want to be.

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