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Every Time You Look At Me (2004)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Nicky works in a hairdressing salon and goes clubbing after hours. Her best friend Jen invites her to a party hosted by the estate agent's where she's recently started working, and points out Steve, the colleague she fancies. But Nicky is more interested in Chris, Steve's brother, and when their eyes meet, he comes over to introduce himself - whereupon she sees that he has thalidomide-impaired arms (ending at elbow length, no thumbs), and he sees that she is only four foot one inch tall. He awkwardly says he has to get back to his girlfriend.

Nicky goes to Jen's office to have lunch with her. Steve and Chris are also having lunch, and suggest they team up. Small talk during lunch reveals that Chris is a teacher. Afterwards, they part in different directions: Chris looks round afterwards, Nicky doesn't. She goes back to the salon and is reminded that she's forgotten her scooter. She reaches it just in time to see a parking ticket being written.

Chris's girlfriend Michelle is keen for them to settle down in their own house, and badgers him about the financial aspects, though Chris seems troubled by something else. He runs into Nicky again at a club that Steve has taken him to in order to see Jen. She makes a tasteless comment about his arms, and apologises afterwards. Impulsively, she gives him her address and invites him round the following night.

Chris takes up her invitation, and the two end up in bed. Afterwards, Nicky reveals that she's just lost her virginity. A guilty Chris persuades her to agree that it was a one-off. But they later go to a hotel at Chris's expense, and spend the night together. Meanwhile, Nicky's mother Kath finds condoms in her room and challenges her when she returns. Nicky angrily points out that she's 24 and that her condition shouldn't mean she misses out on life's pleasures.

Chris and Michelle view a house. She's delighted with it, but he looks faintly disgusted. He goes to see Nicky at the club and says their affair has to end. She says that something is clearly wrong with his relationship with Michelle. To prove that she's more exciting, Nicky takes him to a rough pub, aggressively confronting anyone who tries to insult them.

Chris and Steve go to their father Roger's 70th birthday dinner, along with Michelle and Jen. After the meal, Roger asks Chris if he's ever going to marry Michelle. Chris goes outside to the garden, where he has a violent row with Steve, who resents all the attention Chris gets.

Chris confesses to Michelle about Nicky, and the two split up. Word has already reached Nicky via Jen when Chris goes round to tell her. Kath overhears him asking Nicky to be his girlfriend. After hesitating, she agrees. Chris takes Nicky to meet his parents, and a private father-son chat turns into an argument after Roger claims she's too young for him.

Chris is successfully interviewed for a deputy headmaster's job. At a party at the school, Nicky gets stuck in the ladies' toilet cubicle and can't bring herself to call for help after hearing people joking about her. Chris eventually finds her and she admits she's embarrassed to be with him as he's so successful. He tells her he loves her, and proposes marriage. Alarmed, Nicky says she'll think about it.

Nicky tells Kath about the proposal, and Kath sees Chris in private. She tells him that Nicky suffers from a degenerative wasting condition and is on a complex medication regime, which she keeps hidden from him. She will inevitably end up in a wheelchair, and how will Chris cope?

Nicky goes to Chris to accept his proposal, but he's changed his mind now that he knows her secret. After an argument, they split up.

Steve and Jen get married, and Chris is the best man - and ends up dancing with Michelle. But he can't get Nicky out of his mind, and a few months later he goes to see her at the salon. He proposes again, and she accepts, sliding the ring onto her finger to applause by staff and clients.