In this emotional roller coaster ride, Robert Harmon (John Cassavetes) is a street-wise, sometimes obnoxious writer currently working on a book about the seamier side of buying/selling love, and Sarah Lawson (Gena Rowlands) is an emotive wife and mother struggling through a divorce and custody battle.
When Sarah lands on Robert's doorstep with her suitcases, it seems at first that she has returned to her husband. Robert has several women staying at his place (research sources!), but when his real ex-wife arrives with their young son, he sends the women packing. Sarah, it turns out, is Robert's sister.
As the two work out their own live's hurdles -- Robert, the unaccustomed father with his 8-year-old son, and Sarah, trying to cope with her custody battle and its results -- their way of handling adversity and personal burdens becomes the real subtext of the film. This film won the Golden Bear Award at the 1984 Berlin Film Festival.