As she enters middle age, expatriate American M.D. Lillian Hempel (Blair Brown) ends a long-term relationship with her actor boyfriend and embarks on a tour of European churches. After a chance encounter with charming businessman Raymond Forbes (Bruno Ganz), Lillian finds herself tempted to abandon her usually meticulous approach to romance. Fear wells up, though, and she heads back to London, where her job as a National Health physician awaits. Returning to her flat, Lillian finds Amy (Bridget Fonda), her peripatetic younger sister, who is visiting London, partying hard, and dabbling in the fashion world. Amy seems to be everything Lillian isn't: impulsive, irresponsible, and devoid of vocation. Back at work, Lillian finds herself drawn into the plight of a young man with terminal cancer, her emotional investment leading her to consider taking a stand against the toll Thatcherism is taking on Britain's health care system. Into this already complicated life comes Raymond, who has tracked Lillian to London, determined to woo and even marry her. Against her better judgment, Lillian acquiesces a bit at a time -- until a fierce row with Amy sends her spinning even faster into Raymond's alluring orbit. When Raymond disappears as mysteriously as he arrived, however, Lillian must come to terms with the choices she has made. Strapless was filmed between seasons of The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Brown's cult-favorite TV series; fans of the show will notice that Molly Dodd is closer in temperament to Fonda's character in Strapless than to Brown's.
by Brian J. Dillard synopsis