Various high schoolkids are interested in "Eons and Empires", an SF comic (then a film) about alternative universes. In chapter 1, each of the 3 sections features a couple having a date in a cinema while peers look on.
On p.2 there's a clever kid - "even at five, Adam recognized the hint of desire in a man's voice ... he understood the awesome responsibility of being someone's whole world ... That was the moment Adam realized he was good at pretending"
On p.8 there's an interesting image - "In the darkness the tide sounds the same as cars that pass on the highway facing his bedroom window, everyone on their way to somewhere better"
Then the characters go their different ways, paths crossing, stories re-syncing. One of them stars in an E&E TV series. There are wannabee actors, wannabee writers, break-ups, friends with benefits, pages about how a pretty boy turns down invitations from pretty girls because he's decided to be loyal, early deaths. Anything insightful is spelt out -
"You must be Fiona," she says, extends her hand. "Z talks about you all the time. I'm Cecily."|
"Phoebe, actually." Phoebe smiles politely, knows Cecily said her name wrong intentionally, but doesn't take the bait and say Adam must not talk about her that much. (p.126)
But much of the time it's more like
|As long as she's happy, he's happy ... well, happy-ish, which frankly seems like an enormous emotional maturity leap for him. But that doesn't change the fact that his grand experiment of being vulnerable and committing to someone was a spectacular failure (p.228)|