Plot: Middle aged siblings Jon Savage and Wendy Savage, who live in Buffalo and New York City respectively, have been estranged from their parents for several years, who themselves are no longer together. They saw their mother as largely being absent from their lives even before this estrangement, while they accuse their father of being abusive to them when they were growing up. Although this dysfunction has negatively affected both siblings, it seems to have affected Wendy more, she, who, although armed with an MFA, does office temp work to make ends meet - among other more less than ethical means - while writing scathing autobiographical plays as therapy, those plays which have thus far been unproduced. She is in a relationship with Larry, a married older man, which keeps her from pursuing other people. And she readily lies to get what she wants, which has the end goal of making herself feel better about her less than satisfying life. Jon and Wendy learn through the grapevine that their father, Leonard Savage, has been acting out of late in an aggressive manner. Soon after, they learn that Lenny's live-in partner of twenty years, Doris Metzger, has just passed away. Jon and Wendy use the opportunity of the funeral to travel to Sun City, Arizona to check up on their father. What was supposed to be a quick overnight trip ends up being extended as they find out that Lenny is suffering from early dementia - the reason for his aggressive behavior - most-likely the result of Parkinson's. Also, they learn that they are now responsible for him as he can no longer live in Doris' house. Jon and Wendy have different opinions of what type of care is best for their father, although they have to make united decisions. Caring for and reconnecting with Lenny as well as making those important care-giving decisions in this end stage of his life take their toll on Jon and Wendy, although both siblings have to confront the goings-on in their own sad lives in the process.
Alternative Plot: Wendy Savage (Laura Linney), a struggling playwright, has little to do with her brother, Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a college professor and author. However, the siblings must find a way to work together when their father, Lenny (Philip Bosco), slides into senility and must be placed in a nursing home.