After soap opera actress May-Alice Culhane (Mary McDonnell) has a car accident, she is paralyzed and forced into a wheelchair. She retreats to her family's vacant home in Louisiana and indulges in alcohol and self-pity. When nursing aides come to help, May-Alice unleashes her anger, prompting each to quit. Chantelle (Alfre Woodard), a nurse who desperately needs the job, arrives determined to change May-Alice's outlook. As the two women become friends, they help each other cope with challenges.