Even without money problems, many divorced single parents have a hard row to hoe. At the drop of a hat, a competent, responsible professional person can be reduced to a frazzled, bumbling parent, when his or her children become unexpected daytime wards. This is what happens to Jack Taylor (George Clooney) when his ex-wife suddenly decides to elope, leaving their daughter with him. Unhappily for him, his reporting job demands one-hundred-percent commitment as he attempts to link corruption with city hall. The same sort of thing is true in the life of architect Melanie Parker (Michelle Pfeiffer). She must not only somehow prepare a complex multimillion-dollar real-estate development presentation, but must also keep up the pretense that she doesn't have a son because her boss loathes children. When Jack flubs his assignment of getting the two children off on a school day-trip, he and Melanie, who barely know each other, have to take turns caring for the kids. Mishap follows mishap, as the initially antagonistic Jack and Melanie get to know one another.