African-American, independent film director, Charles Burnett's low-key drama centres on the dynamics of a black middle-class family living in South Central Los Angeles. When Harry (Danny Glover) turns up on the doorstep of his old friend Gideon (Paul Butler) looking for a roof over his head, Gideon cannot refuse. Gideon's wife, however, does not want another person in the family house as their grown son and his wife are still living with them. To ingratiate himself into the family group, Harry reminds them of their Southern roots; but his drinking does him no favours. When Gideon has a stroke, Harry takes over the running of the household and they begin to see the real man behind the charm.