"Out of the City" Synopsis

Caution: Contains Spoilers

Two couples—Matt and Carol, Dan and Jill—are at a lakeside retreat in the Poconos for Carol’s 60th birthday. With the men outside, the women chat—about Jill’s hiking adventures, architecture—when the conversation turns suddenly to Carol’s dissatisfaction with sex. Soon, they find themselves sharing an unexpected kiss.

Not sure what to make of it, Carol heads to the lake to join her husband Matt. He’s feeling introspective, throwing rocks at a floating log. Carol prods for attention, slugging him in the arm. He explains it’s not just about a log: it’s a primal need for satisfaction, like a hunter who slays an elk. “It’s like the bell rings, you win the prize. You kiss the girl and she says: ‘You are my hero.’”

Recognizing (but not liking) Matt’s need to be alone, Carol leaves.

Back inside, the women share another tender moment when Jill’s husband Dan enters. Dan, a sports coach, wants to go play basketball, but Jill asks him to kiss her first. He does, but when she criticizes his kissing and asks him to again, he’s put off, and starts to leave. Privately to Matt, he mentions he’s noticed a change in how the women have been acting. But Matt doesn’t see it, and goes to cut fruit for Carol’s celebration.

Meanwhile, Carol has gone down to the lake herself, and to her disbelief, manages to nail the log with the rock. She tries again: this time, she falls in the water.

She returns soaked and distressed: her wet, swollen boot is stuck on. While they try to remedy the situation with a hair dryer with Carol on Matt’s lap hashing out their marital issues, suddenly Dan’s concerns about Jill come out: what actually happens on her adventure trips? Is it hiking that motivates her, or the “Forest Men” who lead the excursions? As the conversation is spiraling, Carol admits that she and Jill kissed.

The men are slightly shocked. Their suggestion: they themselves must kiss each other to correct the balance. Dan feels awkward, but Matt pulls him in and plants one. They shake hands and move on.

The couples ruminate on the day’s events: What does a kiss really mean, anyway? “You can’t compare the kiss from the man you’ve kissed for 30 years and the woman you kissed this morning,” Jill attests.

Matt and Dan head out for groceries. Alone, Carol and Jill nearly kiss again—but laugh and turn away.

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