Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
Their relationship steadily deteriorating in the eight years following their daughter's untimely death, a married couple unable to break the cycle of grief gets a second shot at love thanks to a scrappy, underage prostitute in this family drama starring James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo, and Kristen Stewart. Ever since the death of their daughter Emily, Doug (Gandolfini) and Lois Riley (Leo) have been drifting apart. As Lois wrestles with a suffocating sense of guilt over her daughter's death, Doug copes by entering into an affair with Vivian, a local waitress. Lately, Lois hasn't even been able to muster the courage to venture outside, summoning hairdressers to her home in order to maintain appearances and communicating with few people other than her sister Harriet and the local pastor. When Vivian dies and Doug finds himself in a Baton Rouge strip club during a business trip, he realizes he's come to a dangerous crossroads in life. Turning down an offer for a private dance by 16-year-old stripper Mallory, Doug instead accompanies the girl home and makes a most unusual proposition: if Mallory will allow him to stay in her run-down apartment long enough to straighten himself out, he will pay her $100 a day for her trouble. For Mallory, who isn't used to getting money for nothing, it seems like a great deal. She accepts, and Doug phones Lois to tell her he won't be coming home. As time passes, Doug and Mallory settle into an unconventional kind of domesticity. Meanwhile, back home, Lois realizes that she'll have to act fast in order to save her marriage, even if that means venturing well outside her comfort zone for the first time in nearly a decade. Most days she can't even make it to the mailbox, but after a couple attempts, Lois manages to start up her car and get on the freeway heading south. When Lois arrives in Louisiana and discovers that her husband is living with a foul-mouthed, underage hooker, she is at first horrified. Like Doug before her, however, Lois quickly warms to Mallory, due in part to her striking similarities to Emily. Before long, Lois, too, has moved in, and the three form something of an unconventional family. But when Lois attempts to steer Mallory from the path of self-destruction, the young girl bristles. Later, Mallory is hospitalized after being badly beaten by a client, and Doug and Lois rush to be by her side. Could this be the thing that pulls them back together? When Lois admits to Doug how their daughter really died, his kind understanding gives hope for a new beginning.
death-in-family, daughter, marital-problems, agoraphobia, prostitute/prostitution