Robert Harmon (Cassavetes), an alcoholic, aging playboy, lives in his large Hollywood home surrounded by a coterie of women who come and go in his life. An ex-wife drops off Robert’s young son Albie (Shaw) whom his father barely knows, and Robert spends a turbulent 24 hours with him. Then Robert’s fragile but beloved sister Sarah (Rowlands), who’s going through a messy divorce with her husband (Cassel), shows up at his door and settles in. Soon, Sarah’s excessive, manic behavior impacts Robert’s isolated existence.
Cassavetes’s penultimate film marks the final chapter in his cinematic oeuvre with real-life wife Rowlands. Shot in their own home, and without the trademark handheld camerawork of his previous work, Cassavetes digs deeply into two lost souls. Rowlands powerfully embodies Sarah’s waning hold on reality, while Cassavetes, already diagnosed with a terminal illness in real life, plays Robert with a desperate ferocity. The film’s final scenes are particularly poignant and powerful. Cassavetes never stops challenging, surprising, and provoking his viewers in this award-winning drama, which serves as a fitting finale to an amazing career.