The film tells the interconnected stories of six people during a weekend at a summer house in Vermont, focusing particularly on Lane (Farrow), with whom neighbor Howard (Elliott) falls in love, despite Lane being in a relationship with Peter (Waterston), who's falling for Stephanie (Wiest).
This film features examples of:
- Bungled Suicide: Lane moved into the country house to recuperate after a failed suicide attempt.
- In Vino Veritas: Howard finally reveals his feelings to Lane while very drunk.
- Love Dodecahedron: Howard is in love with Lane, Lane is in love with Peter, and Peter is in love with Stephanie.
- My Beloved Smother: Lane's mother Diane is brassy and tactless. It is eventually revealed that she made Lane take the blame for a shooting.
- The Reveal: It was Diane the one who shot her abusive lover, not Lane. It is implied that Diane's lawyers thought it would be better if Lane took the fall, as she would be treated leniently.
- Wham Line: An anguished Lane cries out to Diane at the climax, "You're the one who pulled the trigger! I just said what the lawyers told me to say", thus revealing that Diane was actually the one who shot her abusive lover, not Lane.
- Whole-Plot Reference: Most of the film's plot is modeled on Anton Chekhov's play Uncle Vanya, such as the Love Dodecahedron and the shooting incident.