The Other Zoey is a new romantic comedy-drama film that takes on a very common modern subject as its basic idea. Like numerous other rom-coms in recent times, this film presents a logical reliance on compatibility faced against emotional submission to one’s feelings. The plot is centered around Zoey Miller, a tech nerd who suddenly finds herself in a strange situation along with a soccer-playing jock from her college, Zach MacLaren. The Other Zoey can be a good and light watch for fans of the rom-com genre, while others might not find anything too interesting in it.
Plot Summary: What is the film about?
The Other Zoey begins inside the history classroom at Queen’s University on the 14th of February, as students have been asked to present papers on Valentine’s Day. One of the students, Becca, gives a heartfelt presentation about St. Valentine and his struggle for the sake of lovers, even though it is historically inaccurate. A classmate of hers, Zoey Miller, is very quick to point this out and also expresses her displeasure at occasions like Valentine’s Day, which is just a capitalist construct, according to her. Zoey is of the opinion that love and romantic relationships are nothing but matters of data analysis and statistics, and that the human act of coming together to form couples should be done using such numerical attributes. Using her skills in coding, for she has been majoring in this very subject, Zoey has developed a new dating app that uses mathematics to prepare a compatibility score for interested couples.
Zoey is evidently not very popular among her classmates because of her unconventional and nerdy opinions, but she finds her best friend and roommate, Elle, always by her side. After class, as the two are walking on campus, a soccer ball suddenly hits Zoey in the face, and the owner of the ball immediately comes running. It is popular soccer player Zach MacLaren, as Elle introduces him, who apologetically comes up to Zoey and then talks to her rather flirtingly. Zoey is not interested in such characters, though, for she is starkly different from any jock athlete, and she also firmly believes that people different from each other can never be good lovers. She visits a lecture on technology instead and is briefly attracted to one of the visiting students. But the young man leaves the place before Zoey can make introductions or discuss their common interests.
Zoey’s life then suddenly takes a very unexpected turn when Zach MacLaren visits the bookstore where she works part-time and then leaves his credit card by mistake. Zoey runs out of the store with the card, calling out to Zach, who is cycling away. When he ultimately notices her, though, a car drives out in front of him, and Zach has a nasty crash. Zoey is relieved to see that the young man is alive and without many injuries, but she is also shocked when Zach calls her his girlfriend and even kisses her, as if they have been lovers for quite some time now.
Why does Zoey hide her identity from the MacLarens?
Zach’s behavior right on the road confuses Zoey, but she still decides to play along as it is still an emergency situation. Still groggy and affected by the accident, Zach asks Zoey to accompany him to the hospital, and the medical assistance worker also asks her to do so as that would comfort him. It is at the hospital, when the woman finally gets some time by herself, that she thinks about what is happening and calls up her best friend for some clarification. Like with most things related to love and dating, Elle has the answer to this confusion, too, as she reveals that Zach had recently started dating another student named Zoey. Zoey Wallace, a soccer player on the college women’s team, had started a relationship with Zach about two weeks ago, owing to their common interest in the sport.
The doctor reveals that Zach has suffered a concussion due to his accident, leading to a loss of his recent memory, which explains his misunderstanding. Since the two Zoeys look similar to a certain degree and because Zoey Miller is the first person he sees after waking up, Zach’s injured mind makes him believe that it is our protagonist, Zoey, who is his girlfriend. The woman immediately decides that she must tell Zach and his family about this major confusion, but then the doctor’s orders quickly make her change her mind. The doctor says that any situation that might upset the patient must be avoided at this time, for it would hurt his brain even more. By this time, Zach’s parents, Connie and Matt, have also arrived at the hospital and made acquaintances with Zoey, even inviting her to their house for dinner. Since the MacLarens have only heard about their son’s girlfriend, Zoey, and have never met her yet, they, too, confuse the nerdy Zoey with being the footballer girlfriend.
Seeing no other option than to go ahead with the misunderstanding, Zoey agrees to the dinner invitation, but she also makes up her mind to tell the parents about who she really is. Back at the MacLaren home, she gets to know Zach’s younger sister, Avery, and senses the loving bond between the two siblings, as Zach had been looking for a book for Avery on the day of his accident. The entire family gets close to Zoey very quickly, and they invite her to their skiing holiday in the coming days. Just as Zoey is about to tell the parents about the confusion, a different young man walks in, and the protagonist is once again smitten to see him. This is the very same man whom Zoey felt attracted to at the tech seminar, and it is now revealed that he is Miles, a cousin of Zach. Miles has been visiting the family during a break from his grad course at MIT, and this information immediately makes Zoey even more interested in him.
Zoey’s character is later revealed to be one who does not really take many chances with love, and she rarely pursues anyone out of any romantic interest. It is because of this that she now decides to hold on to the revelation a bit longer, for pretending to be Zoey Wallace and accompanying the family to their skiing vacation would also mean getting to spend more time with Miles. It is for this reason that Zoey decides not to reveal her identity yet and to give love a chance.
What happens during the skiing holiday?
Through her conversations with Miles and also by simply observing him, Zoey realizes that the two of them are quite similar to each other with regards to interests as well as intelligence. Miles and Zoey often shout out Scrabble answers at the very same time, and they are able to immediately communicate with each other using nerdy techniques during charades. Zoey grows closer to the MacLaren family, particularly with young Avery, but all her interest and attraction are towards Miles. Since Zoey feels that finding someone similar to herself would be the luckiest connection to make, she pursues this interest completely, even making her supposed boyfriend, Zach, feel left out.
This attraction ultimately culminates in a kiss shared between Zoey and Miles at the sauna, and the two would have evidently spent more intimate time had Avery not walked into the place. Although the girl does not catch them in the act, their night of attraction ends right there, with Zoey feeling excited about the future. However, this excitement is almost immediately gone the very next morning, when she learns that Miles actually has a girlfriend. When she confronts him about this, Miles states very casually that he has an open, polyamorous relationship with his girlfriend. Zoey stresses the importance of having told her about all this before their kiss, and Miles once again very casually states that he did not really think of any relationship with her. Miles was only looking for a casual hookup, one that his girlfriend back home would also know about.
Through this experience, Zoey learns the first lesson: all her strong and somewhat blind belief in compatibility and having similar interests with one’s lover does not necessarily lead to a strong relationship. Deciding not to go skiing that day, solely to avoid Miles, she stays back at the rented cottage along with Zach. It is only now that she realizes that Zach can be extremely fun, loving, and caring, too, and the two spend the whole day together. An internal conflict does begin in Zoey at this point, for she starts to like Zach despite knowing how very intellectually different they are from each other. During this entire time, she has been talking with Elle, too, and the friend insists that Zoey does what her heart wants to do.
Despite knowing well that keeping her real identity a secret is ethically wrong and also constitutes identity theft, Zoey still holds on to the pretense. In her most emotional moment, she tells Zach to remember her even after all this is over, making him grow even more confused. There are moments, like when he hits Zoey with a snowball on her face, just like the time when they first met, when Zach seems to get back his recent memory for a moment. However, the unveiling of the truth happens only when the MacLaren family returns home from their vacation, along with Zoey and the soccer player, Zoey Wallace, reaches the place. She confronts Zoey and Zach about what has been happening, and the protagonist now has no option but to confess everything. Zoey walks away from the house embarrassedly as Zach reunites with his original girlfriend, Zoey Wallace.
Do Zoey and Zach finally reunite?
After this forced separation from Zach, Zoey realizes that she is truly in love with him. But the internal conflict that had already started in her also poses trouble, making her bitter and hurtful towards everyone around her, including those close to her. Zoey has a terrible fight with Elle when she hurts her best friend and demeans her interest in poetry. Her classmates and the overall situation in school do not help Zoey either, for news about her recent identity theft has spread all over the school. This has led to her being called names and some rather wild rumors going on about her, too, and Zoey only responds with anger and frustration, which makes her the brunt of jokes even more.
Frustrated by the situation in her life, Zoey now decides to take a break and visit her mother, Paula. At the beginning of The Other Zoey, Paula had made plans with her daughter to go somewhere, but Zoey had canceled this plan at the very last moment after she had decided to go on the MacLarens’ skiing trip instead. Feeling lost in life, Zoey now looks for comfort from her mother, and it is Paula who tells her more about love and life. Zoey had always felt that her parents had gotten a divorce because they were so different from each other in every possible aspect. However, it was their differences that had gotten them together, and it was only to understand themselves as individuals that they had opted for divorce. It can be guessed that this had been the reason why Zoey had always harped on the need for statistical compatibility in love and also why she had built an app to calculate such odds.
During The Other Zoey‘s ending, Zoey returns to her home and apologizes to Elle for her harshness, and the two friends get close once again. The situation at school gets better as well when Becca asks Zoey to design the website for their upcoming college event, as they want the event to be live-streamed. Zoey does so but refuses to go to the party when Elle suddenly arrives and shows her a picture of Zoey Wallace making out with someone else. Taking this as proof of Zach’s breakup, Elle convinces her to go to the party and meet him. In a very uncharacteristic manner, Zoey reaches the party and finds Zach by making a public announcement for him. Zoey now admits that she was wrong about love being only about statistical data and professes her interest in him. Zach also shows the same interest in her, and the two finally reunite and kiss. The Other Zoey ends as students at the party cheer for the new couple and livestream their romance.