The Nines (2007) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Gary, an actor who plays a cop on television, uses too much lighter fluid when he burns his ex-girlfriend's things, then he drinks and drives, uses crack, and crashes his car. He sobers up in jail and is placed under house arrest and the watchful eye of a publicist, the cheery and tough-minded Margaret. She moves him into the empty house of a writer who's away in Canada on a shoot. Gary meets Sarah, an attractive and seemingly-willing neighbor. His friendship with Margaret blooms and strange things happen: he finds notes he doesn't remember writing, he hears noises, and he seems to bump into himself in the kitchen. Two remaining chapters reveal what's going on.

  • Three peripherally related stories are presented. Beyond taking place in the same semi-fictional universe, the stories are connected by a stock company of actors portraying different characters in each of the three stories, those characters who are meant to look like each other from one story to the next. In "Part One: The Prisoner", Gary, a successful Hollywood television actor, has just been placed under house arrest, his sentence, out of circumstance, to be served in a house connected to his publicist, Lola, instead of his own house. While acerbic-tongued Margaret, one of Lola's representatives, works on keeping Gary's good name within the public fan-base in tact under the circumstances, Gary, lonely and alone at the house, makes a connection with Sarah, a married mother who lives next door. Sarah entering Gary's life is not by accident. In "Part Two: Reality Television", screenwriter Gavin Taylor has just had his television project green-lighted by the network. Concurrently, he has agreed to star in another just green-lighted project, a reality television series based on the making of his show. Gary wrote the show with his good friend Melissa McCarthy in mind to star, she who quit a lucrative gig on Gilmore Girls (2000) to accommodate Gary. But Gary ultimately has to answer to the network - Susan Howard who is acting on behalf of the network - while Susan and the network kowtow to their advertisers. All the players in question may have different and conflicting priorities. In "Chapter Three: Knowing", married Gabriel and Mary, a video game designer and editor respectively, and their eight year old daughter Noelle return to their car from a secluded wilderness hike to find it has a dead battery. While Mary and Noelle wait at the car, Gabriel goes for help. The first person he encounters is Sierra, who is out for a hike herself. Sierra ultimately but somewhat reluctantly decides to help Gabriel to the best of her ability, which hides her true motive. By the end of the third story, the connections between the three stories are shown to be more than what appeared on the surface, those connections largely on a metaphysical level and centered around "the nines".

  • A troubled actor, a television show runner, and an acclaimed videogame designer find their lives intertwining in mysterious and unsettling ways.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • "Part One - The Prisoner" tells of a troubled actor, Gary, who is wearing the green lace on his wrist. Gary is under house arrest living in another person's house because he burned down his own, the owner of the house is described as a TV writer away on work. While living in the house he is befriended by both a P.R. 'handler', Margaret, and the single mom next door, Sarah, who may or may not be interested in him romantically. Over the course of his house arrest, Gary becomes convinced that he is being haunted by the number nine, including finding a note saying "Look for the nines" in his handwriting. He also sees different versions of himself around the house, which freak him out causing him to break out of his house arrest barrier, which in turn causes a blip in reality.

    "Part Two - Reality Television" tells of a television writer, Gavin, trying to get his pilot made. He leaves his house to go away and work on his TV show, "Knowing", about a mother and daughter who are lost, which stars his friend Melissa as the lead actress. In a conversation about reviews and critics Melissa tells Gavin to look for the nines which he then writes on a piece of paper, the same piece which Gary found in Part One, he also tells Melissa he thinks he is haunted by himself. During the process of post production, a television executive, Susan, pushes for Gavin to ditch his friend Melissa as the unconventional lead actress of his project, in favor of a more attractive, well-known accress. This causes an argument between him and Melissa, which leads to his telling the reality TV cameraman to leave him alone. A pedestrian then asks him who he is talking to, and it is shown that the reality television cameraman does not exist, and also that he has the number nine floating above his head.

    A flashback from Part One shows Gary's P.R. handler, Margaret, telling him he is a God-like being and that God is a 10, humans are a 7 and that he is a 9, therefore he can destroy the world with a single thought, and that he exists in many different forms and that none of them are real. Gary does not believe this and flips out, which is revealed to be the real reason for his breaking his house arrest barrier in Part One.

    "Part Three - Knowing" tells of an acclaimed video game designer, Gabriel, whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Gabriel leaves his wife, Mary, and young daughter, Noelle, to try to get a better signal on his phone. He meets a woman, Sierra, who leads him off into the woods to her car, so she can give him a lift to the gas station. Suddenly Gabriel feels weak and Sierra tells him she has poisoned him with the water she gave him. Meanwhile back at the car Noelle watches a video on a digital camera showing Gavin talking to Melissa from Part Two and Margaret talking to Gary in Part One. She is confused and shows her mom, who appears confused as well. Sierra then tells Gabriel about the three parallel universes he has created, and has been living in, and that he forgot who he was, and that he forgot it wasn't real. Sierra tells Gabriel to go back with her. Back at the car Noelle has gone missing. Gabriel then returns to the car with Noelle in his arms and the family goes home. Mary, who realises that he is not who he seems, tells Gabriel he needs to go and that the world is not real. Gabriel tells her that there were ninety different variations of the universe and this is the last one. Gabriel then realises he must go and removes the green lace from his wrist, at which point the universe peels away into nothing. The film ends with the woman from all three parts married to Ben, whom she is married to in Part Two, and Noelle as their daughter. Noelle tells her mother that "he's not coming back" and that "all the pieces have been put together" and that "this is the best of all possible words", Melissa then looks up and says "thank you", smiles and the credits roll.

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