John Duigan's film is the story of Molly (Elizabeth Shue), a functioning autistic with a learning disorder who was institutionalized when her parents died. Fifteen years later Molly is forced to reenter society after the government tightens its monetary belt. She moves in with her big brother Buck (Aaron Eckhart), who tries desperately to juggle his advertising career with his new responsibility, but Molly's antics cost him his job, and the frustrated Buck is unsure how to handle his eccentric sister. When Molly lands herself in an advanced facility and reunites with Sam (Thomas Jane), a loyal and thoughtful employee at her previous institution, everyone seems happy. Things change drastically when she becomes the prime candidate for undergoing an experimental surgery that will make her a normal and functioning human being. At first the surgery doesn't appear to work, but eventually she opens up, creating a whole new series of issues and deeper understandings. Her struggle to comprehend the outside world brings her closer to her brother and to all those around her. Molly's infectious joy and vision of the world changes those who come into contact with the free-spirited young woman.
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