Barbra Streisand directed and stars in this love story about two people of dissimilar backgrounds who form a connection based on their unhappy experiences. Adapted from the novel by Pat Conroy, the story concerns Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte), a rudderless, unemployed football coach. Stuck in a loveless marriage with a wife (Blythe Danner) who feels nothing for him, and unable to move forward with his life, he is suddenly jarred out of his lethargy when he travels to New York because his twin sister (Melinda Dillon) has just tried to kill herself. In New York, he meets her psychiatrist, Susan Lowenstein (Barbra Streisand), who is married to a snobbish husband (Jeroen Krabbe). Susan and Tom become attracted to each other out of their loneliness. As his relationship with Susan blossoms, Tom learns to deal with his mother Lila (Kate Nelligan), who is the sole emotional center of his life. In the past, Lila was married to an abusive alcoholic. When she left her first husband, she married a rich man whose abuse was mental rather than physical. Tom hates Lila, but he can't free himself of his attachment to her.