In a modest house in suburban America, Paul Gold (Joshua Jackson) lies in his bedroom in a coma, nursed by his mother, Esther (Glenn Close). Esther dutifully tends Paul day and night and in doing so has distanced herself from her husband, Howard (Robert Klein) and teenage daughter, Julie (Jessica Campbell). A stones throw away, Annette Jennings (Patricia Clarkson) is in the midst of a messy divorce, all the while trying to keep herself and her two children functioning normally, on a swiftly dwindling budget. Meanwhile, after years dedicating to his job, Jim Train (Dermot Mulroney) begins to realize that his family, headed by his efficient wife, Susan (Moira Kelly), functions perfectly well without him. Their son, Jake (Alex House) has problems of his own as he finds it increasingly hard to conceal his burgeoning romantic relationship with Tani, his little sisters twelve-inch plastic doll. Beneath her cheerful façade, Helen Christianson (Mary Kay Place), bored by her husband and the banalities of her life, secretly begins looking for something or someone to bring her back to life.
All of them go about their lives surrounded by the possessions that they hold dear. But over the course of four days, the intertwined world of the Golds, the Trains, the Christiansons and the Jennings will collide with the past.