Following the untimely death of their parents in a car accident, sixteen-year-old Bailey Salinger and his siblings -- Julia, fifteen, twelve-year-old Claudia and Owen, one -- are left in the care of their older brother, twenty-four-year-old Charlie. However, with Charlie spending time with his older girlfriend Joanna, leaving them virtually unsupervised, Bailey gets a new Jeep after being sent to buy the family a station wagon while, hoping to impress a boy whose devil-may-we lifestyle she longs to embrace, Julia uses a scholarship to buy a new leather jacket. Then, worsening their already shaky financial situation, the Salingers are faced with plumbing repairs and finding a new nanny to care for Owen.
After missing an important family dinner, Julia appropriates their parent's old bedroom from Charlie to use as her own while Claudia -- a prodigious violin player whose musical talents have overwhelmed the rest of her life -- offers to quit her lessons and pawns her instrument in order to save money. Then, upon learning that a real estate-investment he made with the family's inheritance has been stolen, Charlie is forced to admit that it has left them without any income for the next six months. So, in the wake of his financial reversal, Charlie moves back home intent on fulfilling his role as the family's court-appointed guardian. Meanwhile, as Julia bristles at losing her room and Claudia moves into a tent in the dining room, Bailey starts looking for a job to help with their mounting bills.
After Charlie insists that Claudia not give up her lessons and Julia is dumped by her would-be boyfriend, Bailey insists that his older brother get a job. Reminded of her enormous talent by her violin teacher, Claudia then retrieves her instrument from the pawn shop in order to resume playing, while Charlie approaches the owner of their late father's bar & grill for a loan to help them get by. However, when Joe offers him a job instead, Charlie becomes Salinger's new bartender. Then, after Bailey hires a beautiful young nanny in a deal that allows them to share the Jeep, he, Claudia and Owen arrive for their regular family meal at Salinger's to find that their brother hard at work. Finally, when Julia arrives to join the family is reunited in their commitment to stay together.
Five children orphaned by their parent's fatal auto accident seek to make their way in San Francisco.
Directed by: Richard Pearce
Written by: Chris Keyser & Amy Lippman