Fred loses his job at a newspaper because his review of Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" is peppered with expletives. Because his editor is furious, he is forced to leave the office before retrieving his first novel from the photocopier. Back at home, his girlfriend Susanna reveals she is pregnant. His fear of new responsibilities drives him into a crisis. Then, a dubious offer from his editor helps Fred realize that working as a writer would mean selling his soul.