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It starts out with Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do" playing in the background and we see a title card saying "How They Met" on the screen. We then cut to a diner. There are two waitresses there, Slim (Jennifer Lopez) and Ginny (Juliette Lewis).
Slim sees a man named Robbie (played by Noah Wyle) sitting on a table with a rose. The man tells her that the rose is for her. Slim is unimpressed, and a guy sitting in the booth behind Robbie asks him how much the bet was worth. Slim is confused, and Robbie says the bet was to see if he could get into Slim's pants for $200, but Robbie says she's obviously not worth it. The man threatens Robbie, and he quickly leaves. The man introduces himself as Mitch (Billy Campbell), and Slim is in love at first sight.
Not long after, Slim and Mitch get married.
He's a very wealthy contractor, and they live in a very expensive house, complete with their 5 year old daughter Gracie. One night, Mitch is taking a quick shower so he can get back to work. Slim is cleaning up in the kitchen when she notices his pager buzzing - saying "33" on it. Out of curiosity, she calls "33" on his phone and it turns out to be a french woman who seductively asks where he is. The woman panics and hangs up on her. Slim confronts Mitch and he tells her he's really sorry.
A few days later, Slim and Mitch hug and she can smell the french woman's perfume on him. She gets upset that he is continuing to have an affair with the woman. Mitch calmly tells her that he brings in the money, it's his rules, and she has to live with it. Slim gets pissed, but Mitch slaps her across the face, leaving a big cut. Terrified, and worried for Gracie's safety, Slim comes up with an elaborate plan to run away with Gracie in the middle of the night. Ginny and a couple of other people from the diner are outside Slim's house, in the getaway car. The signal for Slim to leave is an owl hoot, and Slim hears it and manages to successfully get Gracie near the front door, while Mitch is sleeping. Mitch suddenly jumps out of a closet and attacks Slim. He kicks, punches and slaps her around for a few minutes until Ginny and the others realize something's wrong, and break into the house. They finally manage to escape with a barely conscious Slim and Gracie.
Slim cannot stay with Ginny, because Mitch knows where she lives. She flies to Seattle to stay at Joe (Dan Futterman), her ex-boyfriend,'s place. Joe and Slim still have feelings for each other. One night, three ominous FBI agents come to Joe's place to "investigate a kidnapping". Gracie and Slim hide, and the agents rip apart the place, with one even holding a knife to Joe's throat. Slim realizes they must be men sent by Mitch, and it's not safe for her to stay with Joe.
Slim goes to San Francisco to find her father, who doesn't really know about her. He's a multi-millionare designer of some sort named Jupiter (Fred Ward). He's finally convinced Slim is his daughter (he's had many affairs), and he sends her a very large amount of money in the mail. Slim purchases a house in the suburbs for her and Gracie. Along the way, she cuts her hair and changes her name to Erin. Slim is sad because she misses Joe. Gracie is sad because she hasn't spoken to her father in a long time. Slim thinks it might be best if Gracie called Mitch from a pay phone. Unfortunately, Mitch is at the police station, claiming Slim kidnapped Gracie and he wants full custody of her. They trace the call to Michigan, where she is. The cop there, Robbie (the same guy who put a bet on Slim in the diner) turns out to be friends with Mitch. He tells Robbie to go to Michigan and find her.
Meanwhile, Joe comes to visit and unfortunately has to leave the next morning. When Slim gets up, she is surprised by Mitch, in the house waiting for her. She runs out of the house with Gracie, into her car and is chased by Robbie in another car. He nearly gets her a couple of times, but finally his big SUV crashes into something. Slim runs to a car with a key under it (a getaway car, in case something like that ever happened). She puts on a wig and drives to see a lawyer who tells her there isn't much she can do to protect herself from Mitch.
Slim has a better idea. She decides the only way she will get rid of him forever is if she kills him. She calls Ginny, who agrees to take care of Gracie for a month or two. Meanwhile, Slim trains with a tough personal trainer, and is ready for any move that Mitch could possibly make. She's become strong both physically and emotionally.
Slim goes to Mitch's new house, where he is still sleeping around with many women. She hides during the night, and comes out during the day. Mitch goes to work, but comes back in a minute later. He nearly catches Slim. He doesn't, and Slim finds all of his guns and throws them away. He also uses a machine to block out cell phone signals so he can't call 911. He comes home, and they have a big fight. Slim constantly punches and slaps him, but he pins her against a wall, choking her. She gets free and hits him a couple of more times until he is lying unconscious on the floor. She is about to bring down a huge piece of glass to kill him, but she can't do it. She calls Ginny, very emotional, while Mitch comes up behind her and smacks her in the head with a lamp, knocking her to the ground. Just as Mitch is about to kick her, Slim gets up and hits him many more times until he finally falls a high distance into a glass table, killing him.
Slim is reunited with Ginny and Gracie at the airport, and Slim tells Gracie they can go anywhere she wants. The last scene is Slim, Gracie and Joe sailing on a boat together.
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