The real focal point of the story isn't the wedding, though. "Everyone loved Harris," Lila reflects years later. Unmarried, Nina discovers she's pregnant and tells Constance, "I can't imagine getting rid of it. "More than anything." Adding a masculine voice to the mix, Nina's boyfriend, the baby's father, pledges his undying loyalty and commitment to her and their child.I don't think I could do that." But she struggles with the decision until she's convinced that being a mom is a priceless experience. When the story slips into the past, it's friendship that's on display.Minutes later, Buddy drunkenly staggers across a road and is hit by a car. Though moviegoers will clearly see Buddy's drinking as a problem, the people around him are almost bewilderingly tolerant.We see his head smash against the side of the windshield and his body crumple to the ground. His parents and guests calmly listen to his rambling speeches.Her life is coming to a close now, but its lessons can have a profound impact on her daughters if she can just convey them properly.Constance is a happy married woman and Nina is single and restless, but both can benefit from the experience that their mother had.But Lila Wittenborn is marrying a man she doesn't love. Constance and Nina, Ann's two daughters, bicker and squabble when they're not hovering over their dying mother.And her brother, Buddy, wants to stop the wedding—if he can manage it through his alcohol-induced fog. But they love each other and, at the end, walk to their mother's room hand-in-hand.
Ann, in flashback mode, sings her daughters a faith-tinged song as their spaghetti dinner goes untended: "God bless the moon and God bless me/And God bless the somebody I want to see." The most spiritual figure in Ann and Harris make their way to a ramshackle cottage where the two start kissing and Ann strips off Harris' shirt. "Harris," Ann croaks in a moment of lucidity, "was my first mistake. Yet it's the name Ann says as she's drifting in and out of consciousness, sailing between the past and present, imagination and death.Later, we see them presumably naked but mostly covered with a blanket.Buddy gets a smooch in on Harris, too—a quick, smeared affair that takes a half-second.
Ann is a hip bohemian—a singer who performs for "tourists and drunks"—filled with hope and promise. For four years, he's kept in his pocket a meaningless note she wrote to him, the ink faded with age and abuse—and as Ann and Harris begin to explore their feelings for one another, Buddy reacts badly. is not just a love story; it's a whole mess of 'em.