movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
NOTE: Another great spoiler sent in by JOHNMHEMP.
It is 1996 and Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) is a successful celebrity publicist in New York City who has the world by the tail. He is rich, talented, well liked among is peers, and has a beautiful girlfriend named Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez).
Although they are very much in love - he is a workaholic and barely manages to find the time to spend with her. Even after he proposes to her their time together is at a premium. Shortly after they are married she discovers that she is pregnant and makes him promise that he will make time to spend with her and the baby. He agrees. There are complications however and Gert dies while giving birth. Ollie is devastated.
Ollie asks his father in New Jersey, Bart (George Carlin) if he would mind helping him look after his new daughter for a while as he adjusts to everything. Bart is disgusted at how Ollie ignores Gertie (named of course after her mother) and tells him that he needs to love his daughter and start showing some responsibility towards her.
One day Bart goes off to work and leaves Gertie with Ollie. Ollie is forced to take Gertie with him into the city to a press conference. It seems that Will Smith aka Fresh Prince is about to donate some memorabilia to the New York Hard Rock Café. Ollie dismisses it as unimportant as Will Smith is just a second rate musician and TV actor. The restaurant is chaotic and Ollie is under stress because his baby is crying and needs to be changed, Will Smith is late, and the press is unruly. Unable to stand it anymore, Ollie cracks and tells the reporters that they are all lowlifes and that Will Smith is no more than an untalented flash in the pan. He is immediately fired and decides to move to New Jersey to live with his father while he gets his bearings.
7 years later Will Smith is one of the hottest actors in Hollywood and Ollie has still not been able to find another publicists job due to being blacklisted over the press conference fiasco. He now works for the New Jersey City Maintenance Department but has found the time to become a better father to his daughter Gertie (Raquel Castro).
One day he picks her up from school in the city street sweeper and she announces that there will be a parent/student musical review and that she has volunteered them to sing a song from the Broadway show Cats. Ollie balks at this and tells her no. She begs and he promises to take her into the city soon to see a Broadway show to make up for it.
Gertie chooses for them to see the very bloody musical Sweeney Todd while they are in New York and the two have a great day seeing the play, talking about her mother, and taking a carriage ride through Central Park. Ollie tells Gertie how he wishes that he had his old job back because it is the only thing that he has ever done really well.
Ollie continues to look for a publicists job but finds that even after many years his name is still legendary and that no firm will hire him.
One day he comes home after another job rejection and finds his daughter and one of her male school friends exposing themselves to each other. Ollie tells them that only married people do that and sends the little boy home.
That night Ollie takes Gertie to rent a movie and they meet an eccentric clerk named Maya (Liv Tyler) who gives Ollie grief for secretly trying to rent a x-rated video. After they leave Maya follows them home and asks if she can take him to lunch to make up for embarrassing him.
He refuses but she doesn't take no for an answer.
At lunch Ollie confides in Maya that he has not had sex since his wife died and she immediately offers to give him a sympathy jump and they go back to Ollies house. Just as they are about to make love Gertie comes home and they run to hide in the shower. Gertie discovers them and makes them promise that in exchange for not telling Bart - that they will let her rent as many movies as she wants for free in the future and that Ollie will perform a scene from Sweeney Todd with her at the parent/student musical review.
Representing the city at a city counsel meeting protesting the temporary blocking of a street for repairs Ollie is able to get up and do damage control with the neighborhood association by making an impassioned speech. He realizes that he still has the power of persuasion and still wants to be a publicist.
He decides to make an appointment with an old colleague Arthur Brickman (Jason Biggs) to see if he can help him get an interview with his firm.
Arthur reluctantly agrees since Ollie was always very supportive of him in his career.
As they rehearse for Sweeney Todd Ollie gets a call from Arthur saying that he has gotten him the job interview but that they can only meet with him on Monday afternoon. Ollie accepts even though he knows that he will have to miss the parent/student talent show. Gertie is crushed and lashes out at Ollie saying that she does not want to move to New York and that she hates him. He responds that she has ruined his life.
Later that night they both apologize and Gertie tells Ollie that she would be OK living in New York and that she wont be sad if he misses the talent show.
While waiting in the lobby for the job interview, Ollie runs into Will Smith and they begin to chat about parenting and their children and how much that they love them. Ollie realizes that no success or riches can substitute for the love of his daughter and he jumps up and rushes to his daughters school.
He arrives just in time to perform with Gertie in a musical number from Sweeney Todd that ends with the demon barber (Ollie) slitting the throat of his customer. The crowd reluctantly applauds.
Later on everyone is happy and Ollie dances with Maya as the two realize that they might have a promising future together. Gertie breaks in and dances with her father. He knows that he is where he should be, he loves his daughter, and that being a father is the only thing that he has ever done really well