*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Alex
The film begins with a voiceover from Alice Kinney (Reese Witherspoon) detailing her life until age 40. Her father was a famous filmmaker who fell in love with his lead actress, Lillian Stewart (Candice Bergen). After Alice was born, he had an affair, and the marriage ended. Alice married Austen (Michael Sheen) and had two kids, but they separated, and Alice has moved with her two daughters Isabel and Rosie from New York into her father’s old Los Angeles house. Alice is starting over, trying to get her interior design business off the ground.
When we find Alice in the present day, it’s her 40th birthday, and she’s crying in her bathroom. Her daughters knock at the door, and Alice acts like nothing is wrong and takes them to their first day at their new school. Isabel, in particular, is nervous, but her mother assures her everything will be fine.
Meanwhile, brothers Harry (Pico Alexander) and Teddy (Nat Wolff) and their friend George (Jon Rudnitsky) are being kicked out of the motel they’ve stayed in for a couple of weeks because they’re out of money. Their short film was a hit on the festival circuit Harry the director, George the writer, and Teddy the star and they’ve come to Los Angeles to try to turn that success into a real film. Harry is aggressively confident and assures the other guys that they’ll figure out a place to stay.
The girls are staying with their grandmother that night, so Alice goes out with her friends to celebrate her birthday. Alice and her friends run into the guys, and they stay out all night dancing and getting hammered. Harry is extremely flirty with Alice, and they all end up back at Alice’s Harry and Alice make out, but Harry throws up from all the drinking and passes out.
The next morning Alice is surprised she let so loose the night before. Harry is smitten with her, but she tells him that the night before was out of character for her and it’s for the best that not much happened. Meanwhile, George gets up and discovers a room filled with all of Alice’s father’s film posters, scripts, and awards. Lillian, Isabel, and Rosie return, confused as to who these three young men are. George recognizes Lillian, and the guys become extremely excited and begin to flatter her with praise about her films. Alice is already late to an important job interview, so she tells the guys to see themselves out.
Alice meets with Zoey Bell (Lake Bell), a very rich woman, in the hopes of getting hired to be her interior designer, but Zoey explains she already had most of the rooms done by a decorator she fired for creative differences. She offers Alice a job doing her daughter’s room instead. Disappointed but hopeful it could turn into more, Alice accepts.
Alice returns home and finds the boys haven’t left, but instead have spent a delightful afternoon with Lillian talking about film. Lillian tells Alice that they have nowhere to stay and she should let them stay with her. Alice is incredulous and refuses, but Lillian says they’re talented guys and she could help them on their way to greatness. She says Alice’s father would have liked them. Alice begrudgingly agrees she offers to let the guys stay in the guesthouse, but makes sure to tell Harry that nothing romantic can happen between them.
The guys have a big meeting at an agency; they tell them a popular horror filmmaker named Justin Miller (Reid Scott) liked their short and wants to work with them. The guys are concerned since that isn’t the genre they’re going for but agree to take a meeting. Austen calls Alice, extremely concerned about the strange men living with his daughters. Alice wants to know if he cares about his daughters so much, when is he going to move to Los Angeles like he said he would. He insists it’s going to be soon.
When Zoey calls Alice to do a bunch of inane tasks for her, George drives Isabel to school one day. Isabel and George bond because Isabel is also a writer she is thinking about entering a playwriting workshop her teacher Miss Avery suggested her for, but she’s too anxious to do it. Meanwhile, the agents call George and offer him a side job doing rewrites on another script. He hesitates because he knows Harry will see it as a betrayal, but the two of them agree to put their fears aside and go for the opportunities in front of them.
Alice arrives home from a long day working for Zoey and finds Teddy has made dinner and Harry is screening one of her father’s films in the backyard. After a lovely evening, Alice tells Harry she hadn’t watched any of them in a while and thanks him. He stays up late fixing a kitchen cabinet, and after a lot of wine, they finally start sleeping together.
Alice continues doing menial tasks for Zoey until she discovers Zoey simply hired back her old designer and didn’t even consider her for the job. George helps Isabel write her play, she tells him she’ll be too nervous to perform it, but he promises he’ll be waiting there in the wings.
Things go well for a while, and Alice invites Harry to come with her to her friend’s dinner officially as her date. He tells her he’ll meet her after drinks with Justin, but the drinks keep running longer and longer, and he misses it entirely. Alice is hurt, and when Harry comes home, she tells him that she’s too old to be crying over a boy and that he’s so young he’s going to screw up because that’s what guys his age do. She tells him their romantic relationship is over. He tries to change her mind, but she tells him she’s already got a date set up with another man.
Alice goes on her date, but it doesn’t go well, so she drinks too much and then Zoey shows up at the same restaurant. Alice charges over and tells her off and quits, but her date bails on her, and she ends up drunk laying on a bench outside the restaurant. George, who is starting to get real feelings for Alice, picks her up, and she tells him he’s a good guy. When they arrive home, Austen is waiting with his bags. He’s also going to stay at the house.
The guys immediately do not like Austen; they think he’s bad for Alice. Especially Harry, who keeps butting heads with Austen who can tell something has been going on between him and Alice. Tensions begin to rise. Meanwhile, Harry sees that George has been writing something else on his laptop, and as predicted, feels like he’s giving up on their movie. He also thinks George is jealous of his connection with Alice. When he finds out that Teddy is also auditioning for other projects, he storms out.
Upset, Teddy confronts Austen about what he wants from Alice. Austen says he’s going to get their marriage back together and reunite their family. Teddy says Alice doesn’t want that, and Austen says Alice doesn’t know what she wants. Teddy punches Austen in the face, and they begin fighting. George tries to break it up, but Alice and the girls arrive to see Teddy hitting Austen. Alice tells the boys they need to move out. They’re devastated. Austen assumes they’re going to get back together, but Alice tells him she’s ready for a divorce, and she’s sure.
George and Teddy find Harry staying with Justin Miller, and they all apologize to each other. George and Teddy explain yes, they can do other projects, but the movie is still their priority. Time passes, and Alice continues working on her business, Isabel finishes her play, and Teddy gets a part on a TV show.
Alice goes to visit the boys and their new apartment. Harry answers, and he assumes she and Austen are together now. She tells him that Austen is living in LA now, but has his own place. Harry is excited. The other boys arrive, and they all agree that they’ve missed each other a lot.
The day of Isabel’s play, the boys go with Justin to a meeting with Ryan, a big time producer who thinks he wants to get their movie made. But he keeps pushing it farther and farther until they’re about to miss the play. When they finally get to the meeting, Ryan wants to make lots of changes that go against the boys’ vision of the film. Harry tells him that if he doesn’t want to make their movie, they need to go because they have a play to catch. He passionately tells Ryan that if he doesn’t make their film, he’s making a mistake, and the boys rush out to catch the play in time. The play begins, and Isabel steps out onto the stage. She freezes, extremely nervous but George makes it to the wings (and has a flirtation with Miss Avery) just in time. Isabel sees him and remembers her words, and the play goes well.
After the show, Alice, Austen, Lillian, the girls, and the three young guys all have dinner at her home and celebrate the success of the show. Alice smiles as she looks at her strange, happy family.