Michael Taylor (Ryan Reynolds) is an author who has channeled his painful childhood memories into his novels. With some reluctance, he is flying home for his mother Lisa's (Julia Roberts) college graduation. After a lifetime of putting everyone else first, stroking her husband's (Willem Dafoe) massively insecure ego and raising her children in spite of that, it's Lisa's turn. What should be a moment of great celebration turns into a tragic reunion when Lisa is killed in a car accident, leaving father, son and family to pick up the pieces.
While preparing for their mother's funeral, memories are relived and secrets are revealed which will test the family bond. After a childhood of hiding in his father's shadows, protected by his mother, Michael must confront his past and find an understanding of his family, his father and himself.