Ricky, a dim-witted ex-con, meets Beth, a dim-witted waitress, in an Idaho diner. They take off in his car to Washington and begin an affair. Beth, a lonely romance-novel addict, is hopelessly enamored; Ricky is just in it for the (constant) sex. Beth's longing to visit California and Ricky's longing for quick cash leads them into a desperate situation. Director Jost uses a variety of avant-garde visual and narrative techniques, such as montage, collages, split screens and lengthy, tongue-in-cheek monologues to tell the tragicomic story of two complete losers in love.