Mary Jo Walker (JANET McTEER) is a woman in her late thirties who loves to flirt with men, but never has any luck in landing a decent one. First married at the age of seventeen, Mary Jo has gone through several husbands and even more boyfriends, the latest of which has similarly become abusive toward her.
Thus, she grabs her things and hits the road with her twelve-year-old daughter, Ava (KIMBERLY J. BROWN), leaving West Virginia for anywhere that may be better. After some discussion and concern over Ava's asthma, they head off for and finally arrive in the oceanside community of Starlight Beach, just outside San Diego.
There, Ava enrolls in the local school and quickly makes friends with Zoe (ASHLEY BUCCILLE) and Adam (CODY McMAINS), both of whom are in her drama class and wish to audition for the school's production of "Romeo and Juliet."
Meanwhile, Mary Jo gets a job at a security company run by Mr. Cummings (MICHAEL J. POLLARD), a quirky character drawn to her flirtatious ways. It's there that she meets her coworkers, Laurie (LAUREL HOLLOMAN), a fun-loving woman with a penchant for coffee enemas and Dan (JAY O. SANDERS), a soft-spoken but friendly sort.
When Mary Jo runs into Jack Ranson (GAVIN O'CONNOR), a manly truck driver who earlier fixed their broken down car, Ava once again sees the disaster looming but is powerless to stop her mom from getting involved with him.
Soon Mary Jo and Ava move in with Jack and from that point on, only time will tell whether the daughter's belligerence toward Jack and/or the clash between his conservative nature and Mary Jo's more freewheeling spirit will lead them down the familiar path of domestic blight.