An unlikely friendship develops between a teacher with a drug addiction and one of his students.
Dan Dunne (Gosling) is a young inner-city junior high school teacher whose ideals wither and die in the face of reality. Rejecting the standard curriculum in favor of an edgier approach, Dan teaches his students how change works on both a historical and personal scale and how to think for themselves. Though Dan is brilliant, dynamic and in control in the classroom, his disappointments and disillusionment have led to a serious drug habit. He juggles his hangovers and his homework, keeping his lives separated, until one of his troubled students, Drey (Epps), catches him getting high after school. From this awkward beginning, Dan and Drey stumble into an unexpected friendship.