In this dramatic comedy, Jeanie Lee is a Chinese immigrant and long time resident of San Francisco. She's one of many unfortunate Californians who have lost their homes to foreclosure. She seeks refuge at her estranged, American-born son’s tiny apartment. Together they're a very odd couple. Jeanie's son Johnny struggles to make ends meet at a restaurant day job while pursuing his passion for standup comedy by night. Johnny’s need for creative expression is similar and yet very different than his mother’s search for financial and emotional stability. Johnny naively begins to misinterpret Jeanie’s interest in his life as an attack on his independence.
Jeanie has a few friendly, chance encounters with Tony, a widowed and lonely Japanese neighbor. As Jeanie comes to terms with her hardships, and just as she begins to develop a real friendship, Johnny begins to seek out ways to get rid of her.