In this whimsically absurd comedy, Al Fountain (John Turturro) is an rigidly self-controlled electrical engineer who has discovered his first gray hair and has begun seeing things (bicycles running backwards, coffee pouring from the cup into the pot). To Al's shock, he's fired without notice from his job and told to go home.
Instead, he rents a car and heads out in search of Splatchee Lake, a vacation spot he remembers visiting as a child (and one of the few places where he ever felt truly content).
Al discovers that the lake is too polluted to swim in, but he finds The Kid (Sam Rockwell), a genial eccentric who wears a coonskin cap and lives in the woods with a large collection of junk scavenged from trash heaps.
The Kid encourages Al to be spontaneous and take some chances in his life; an opportunity to do so presents itself when Dupree sisters Floatie (Catherine Keener) and Purlene (Lisa Blount) appear, and love (or a reasonable facsimile) is in the air.
Writer/director Tom DiCillo had originally intended this project to follow his debut feature, the hipster comedy Johnny Suede, but problems with financing and production delays led him to make the indie film satire Living in Oblivion first.