Young Englishman Henderson Dores (Daniel Day-Lewis), yearning to give up his genteel British ways and be a bold and brash American, gets his chance when his New York firm sends him south to acquire a Renoir painting from Loomis Gage (Harry Dean Stanton), the eccentric head of an unusual family. Though engaged to Melissa (Laurie Metcalf), just before leaving, Dores meets Irene (Joan Cusack). Arriving in Luxora Beach, Georgia, Dores encounters Gage's far-out family (Glenne Headly, Will Patton, Maury Chaykin), and learns that the Renoir has been promised to Mr. Sereno (Kent Broadhurst). After a fouled-up weekend in Atlanta with both Melissa and Irene, everything comes together in a nightmarish climax: Henderson is pursued by Sereno, escapes the crazy Gage clan, and wins Irene, his true love.

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