Young Marcus, a sweet but nerdy boy raised by his free-thinking mother Fiona, has a crush on a classmate, Hannah. But having spent his childhood in a number of different locales, including Kenya, he is clueless about the various hierarchies in school, as well as the fact that he is an outcast.
Hannah is having a birthday party which Marcus has not been invited to, until Fiona (without his knowledge) begs Hannah's mother to include him. Once Fiona's friend Dakota (another mother in the school) and the man-child next door, Will, learn of this, they bolt to Hannah's house to extract Marcus, knowing the kiss of death that is the "pity invite."
Marcus intends to dance with Hannah, boasting his skill in ballroom, while Fiona and Dakota corner Hannah in the bathroom.
Fiona: Hannah, darling, you are a very popular girl, and as such, you wield a lot of power, probably more than you know. Our lives comes down to a series of choices. Now, you can either choose to take the high road and be the heroine, or you can choose to take the low road and be part of an ugly society divided by lines of popularity, which is dreadful. Do you understand?
Hannah: I just want to get back to my party.
Dakota: Okay, listen up, princess. When I was your age, I was you. And did I always make the best choices? Meh, rarely. The truth is, I destroyed a lot of people—
Fiona: What Dakota is trying to say, is that you can choose right now to do a mean thing, or do a good thing. And choosing to dance with Marcus would be choosing to do such a wonderful thing for someone, and you have the power to make a difference.
Hannah: I'm gonna scream.
Dakota: You're bluffing.
Hannah: (smirks, raises an eyebrow) AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Will had been desperately trying to get Marcus to leave voluntarily, but Marcus is adamant about dancing with his beloved. Fiona reaches the room when Marcus is walking up to Hannah, and she buries her face in Dakota's shoulder.
Fiona: Oh God, tell me when it's over.
Marcus politely asks Hannah if she would like to dance, Hannah's friends sneering and laughing around her. Hanna's face initially contorts, but she looks up and sees Fiona and Dakota. She thinks a moment.
Hannah: Okay, here's the deal. One dance, and that's it.
Marcus: (with a chivalrous flourish) I would be honored to dance with you.
Marcus then wows the crowd with his expert waltzing and twirling of his partner. Even Hannah's "mean girl" posse watches with an admiring eye.
I must say I got a little teary. In one minute, the perspective of an entire group of cruel children was changed based on the choice of one girl.
How much power do each of us have, that we can use, to change so much?