Prologue: An empty movie theatre. Four 50-something women enter the theatre as the lights dim for the feature presentation. Three of the women take their seats; the fourth women is overheard announcing to her friends that "she prefers to stand during the beginning of a movie."
Several previews are played, along with commercials, announcements urging the audience to shut off all electronic devices, etc. Eventually, the movie begins. The fourth women continues standing through the first 10 minutes of it.
[The scene is a mid-1950's upper-middle class suburb in Connecticut.]
Leonardo DiCaprio: My name is Frank Wheeler. I am named thusly because I speak in a frank fashion and, like the wheel on a car, I roll along day after day without a thought as to where I am going.
Kate Winslet: My name is April Wheeler. Like the month after which I am named, I represent growth and renewal. It would be a shame if my blossoming were to be cut short before my petals had a chance to bloom.
Leonardo DiCaprio: Although I am newly-married with a family, living in a pristine upper-middle class home and working my way up the corporate ladder, I feel my life is stifled and my dreams unrealized.
Kate Winslet: Let's give in to your long-time aspirations and move our family to Paris. We will buck the patriarchal socio-economic system of the mid-50's by making you the house husband while I, the woman, trot off to work each morning.
Leonardo DiCaprio: This drastic new lifestyle will truly put us on...a revolutionary road.
Kathy Bates: I am Helen Givings. I am thus named because I am very giving. Although I am merely the realtor who sold Frank and April their idyllic mid-50's dream house many years ago, I will be forcing my way into the story quite often, usually at a point when our newlyweds are in emotional disarray, which occurs about every 4 minutes.
[To Frank and April] I would like to make a bizarre demand and insist upon bringing along my emotionally disabled son John Givings to your next dinner party. Although he was just released from a mental hospital and is given to frequent outbursts of screaming and derisive comments, I can't possibly see what could go wrong with having him attend a fancy-dress dinner in your home.
[We now see a dinner party at Frank and April's pristine pastel-colored dining room.]
John Givings: [To Frank and April] Because I am a social retard and therefore not hindered by the same social constraints as you, I am uniquely qualified to give voice to the churning discord of your counterfeit relationship. By definition, I am insane, but by the standards of your violent and unsettling marriage, I might actually be the most sensible character in the entire movie because I dare to speak the truth which you conveniently sweep under the carpet of your idyllic mid-50's upper-middle class home.
[Skip ahead 90 minutes.]
Leonardo DiCarpio: April's blossoming has been cut short before her petals had a chance to bloom!
[Disco:Very is seen on the theatre floor, vomiting.]