story.htmlTEXTR*chMx')jP Dream With The Fishes: Synopsis

Dream with the Fishes
The Cast
The Crew
Production Notes
Stills and Clips
Sony Pictures Classics
The Story


Terry (David Arquette) is a nervous, straitlaced young man who has given up on the world. Too timid to create a life of his own, Terry tries to get his kicks as a voyeur, spying on his neighbors with a pair of binoculars. Unfulfilled and depressed, he decides to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge and heads to a liquor store for something to fortify his resolve.

There he bumps into Nick (Brad Hunt), someone he's watched before, but never met. Terry buys some rotgut booze, and heads off to his doom.

On the bridge, however, Terry can't seem to find the nerve to jump. While trying to work up his courage, Nick happens along. After persuading Terry that a suicide attempt by jumping, will not only be extremely painful, but possibly not even effective, Nick convinces him that instead he should overdose on sleeping pills. He offers Terry the bottle of pills he has at his apartment, in exchange for Terry's watch.

At Nick's place, Terry explains that he hasn't been able to overcome the death of his wife in a car accident. He downs the pills, but suddenly has a drastic change of mind. He pleads with Nick to take him to the hospital. Nick says he won't go inside because he's afraid the cops will question him, but agrees to drop Terry off. At the hospital, Terry has his stomach pumped.

Terry and Nick

Spitting mad, Terry confronts Nick at his apartment, demanding that Nick apologize, or at least return his watch. But Nick has another surprise up his sleeve--he reveals to Terry that he has a terminal illness and only has a few weeks left to live. Nick proposes an unusual bargain to Terry: if Terry will bankroll Nick's lifelong fantasies in the time he has left, Nick will pay back the favor by killing him.

Terry and Nick

Persuaded by the force of Nick's personality, Terry accepts. What follows is a high-spirited crash course in living life on the edge, as Nick and Terry drop out of their lives for a series of wild experiences, including dropping acid in public, stealing a car, robbing a bank, and bowling in the nude with two prostitutes.

Terry and Aunt Elise

When Nick's health takes a turn for the worse, however, they head to redwood country, where Nick hopes to make peace with his parents (J.E. Freeman and Allyce Beasley). But Nick's hostile father refuses to welcome home his prodigal son, so they hole up with Nick's Aunt Elise (Cathy Moriarty), an exotic dancer. Nick runs into an old friend from high school, Don (Patrick McGaw), and tries to rekindle an old romance with his former girlfriend Mary (Anita Barone).

Nick and Liz

Nick's current girlfriend Liz (Kathryn Erbe), furious at them for disappearing, finally tracks them down. But realizing that Nick doesn't have much time left, she has no choice but to forgive him. The group shares some good times, and Nick reconciles with his father. But Nick's health continues to deteriorate. He begins to put his affairs in order, and Liz and he get married at his hospital bed.

Terry, for his part, has realized that he no longer wants to die. Knowing Nick has opened a new world for him, and he has caught Nick's love of life. He tells Nick he no longer wants to keep their bargain, and Nick agrees.


After Nick's death, Terry returns to San Francisco, determined to begin to live. He throws away his binoculars and destroys hundreds of photos he had secretly taken. Finally, he approaches one of his neighbors on the street. He reveals that he had been watching her and apologizes, asking her forgiveness. Terry walks away confident in his transformation from someone who only watched life going by, to someone who will really live.

*   *   *

Copyright ©1997. All Rights Reserved.   Please mail us with any questions or comments.

hhF story.htmltTEXTR*chTEXTR*ch+3H MonacoQ/B/Bx##R*chHH(FG(HH(d'hProFont  Helvetica ConfidentialHhhF{TFMPSRBBSTL{