In this comedy-drama set in the late 1950s, Manny Singer (Ray Liotta) is a songwriter who makes his living penning jingles for radio and television commercials. Manny's wife has recently died, leaving him an emotionally broken man; Manny buries himself in his work rather than deal with his grief.
His young daughter Molly (Tina Majorino) is taking it even harder; since her mother's passing, Molly has refused to speak. Manny realizes that he needs help taking care of the house and looking after Molly, so he places an ad looking for a maid who can double as a nanny.
After a long series of unsuitable applicants, Manny meets Corrina Washington (Whoopi Goldberg), who isn't much on cooking, cleaning, or domestic chores -- but who strikes an immediate chord with Molly.
Corrina gets the job, and her vivacious, unconventional personality brings the joy of living back to the Singer home. A romance also begins to bloom between Manny and Corrina, though Manny quickly discovers that being in an interracial relationship in 1959 is not always easy or pleasant. Joan Cusack and Don Ameche highlight the supporting cast.