Roy Cooper as Winston Moseby, Christopher Durang as Reverend Lipton, Heywood Hale Broun as Travis, Cherry Jones as Patty, Vasek Simek as Karol, Suzanne Whang as Moseby's Secretary, Mary Klug as Lorraine, Alice Duffy as Hazel Byron, Ken Cheeseman as Harv, Tony V. as Bus Driver, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley as Bus Driver, Belle McDonald as Aunt Betty, Bill McDonald as Uncle Ray, Kevin O'Brien as Caterer Truck Driver, Maggie Steig as Party Guest, Molly D. Gerard as Party Guest, David Hannegan as Party Guest, Edward Mason as Party Guest, Grenville Cuyler as Party Guest, Rose-Ann San Martino as Shopkeeper, Hazel Gardner as Mother with Stroller, Phyllis Jubett Gould as Dobb's Mill Pedestrian, George Michael Jones as Restaurant Guest, Moira J. McCarthy as Restaurant Guest, Michael Nurse as Dedication Ceremony Speaker, Howe F. Perrigo as Bus Person, Patricia Madden as China Shop Proprietor
Newton Davis is a struggling architect. After building his dream house for himself and his longtime girlfriend Becky in his hometown Dobbs Mill, he is crushed when she refuses to marry him.
BECKY METCALF: What is this?
NEWTON DAVIS: Will you marry me?
BECKY METCALF: What?
NEWTON DAVIS: Becky, I have loved you since the 9th grade. Marry me.
BECKY METCALF: You bought this house?
NEWTON DAVIS: Bought it? I'm an architect! I designed it! I built it!
BECKY METCALF: You built this house... for me?
NEWTON DAVIS: For us.
BECKY METCALF: You are so nuts!
NEWTON DAVIS: And you are so sane. It's perfect!
BECKY METCALF: This is like something out of a fairy tale.
NEWTON DAVIS: So, will you?
BECKY METCALF: No.
He is unable to bring himself to live in the house, and leaves it abandoned and with a debt he cannot afford. Some time later, Newton meets a waitress named Gwen at a Hungarian restaurant in Boston. Believing that she cannot speak English, he spills out his sob story about Becky and the abandoned house. After the restaurant closes for the night, Newton learns she merely pretended to be Hungarian, and can speak English. He walks her home, which turns out to be a small apartment upstairs at the restaurant. They end up having sex. The next morning, Gwen finds that Newton left in the middle of the night. However, he unintentionally left behind the drawing of the house he'd built for Becky. Interest piqued by the drawing, Gwen takes a bus ride out to see the house. She is charmed by it, and decides to move in. Gwen goes to the town's general store, where she charges her groceries to the "Newton Davis" account. When questioned about this, Gwen, who it becomes clear is a natural liar, says that she is Newton's wife. Gwen meets Becky, and spins a lengthy romantic story about how they fell in love, which surprises and impresses Becky. Gwen also meets Newton's parents ( NEWTON DAVIS: That was great. She's definitely starting to come around. Thank you.
GWEN: Just doing my job.
NEWTON DAVIS: Did you come up with that on the spur of the moment?
NEWTON DAVIS: Wow! You're a genius. You're like the Ernest Hemingway of bullshit. Really, you're like a living work of art.
GWEN: Oh, God, I don't...
NEWTON DAVIS: What?
GWEN: Thank you.
), who are heartbroken that Newton got "married" without telling them, but Gwen manages to smooth things over with them with her charm. Soon after, Newton travels to his hometown and is shocked to see that his house is lived in. When he finds out what Gwen has done he is initially furious, but he soon sees the potential in her being there. Gwen starts creating all sorts of opportunities for Newton: mending his relationship with his parents, helping out with his career by befriending Newton's boss and highlighting his long-ignored talent, and making Becky jealous. Newton and Gwen come to an agreement in which Gwen will help Newton win Becky, and in return she'll get all the furniture in the house. Through their time together, Newton begins to rely more on Gwen beyond their agreement, and Gwen starts to feel attached to her life with Newton. It is also revealed that Gwen became a compulsive liar in order to escape from what she feels is her own inadequate background, and that she has "changed" her life numerous times. The film culminates with a reception held at the house in which the sub-plots of Newton's career, family and affections for Becky are brought together. Annoyed with Becky for her superior and suspicious attitude, Gwen confronts her in front of everyone, accusing her of trying to win Newton back. Gwen storms out of the house in tears, and Newton follows her, thinking it is still part of the plan. Outside alone, Newton praises Gwen for her brilliance, but Gwen replies that she wanted their marriage to work. Her feelings for him are apparent. Newton's boss gives him the promotion. Newton watches, confused, as Gwen leaves. Becky takes the opportunity to make a move on Newton, and asks whether all of Gwen's elaborate stories were real. Newton answers that they were all true and chases after Gwen. Newton stops Gwen as she is about to board a bus to leave town. Although she resists, Newton follows her example and begins telling an outlandish romantic story of something they "did", which makes Gwen decide to stay. The film ends on the note of Newton and Gwen being happily married and living together in the house. As Newton and Gwen go into the house to have sex, the final spoken words are of Newton saying "I love you, Gwen" and Gwen replying, "Actually, it's Jessica."
Quotes from movie
BECKY METCALF: Do you know why I said no to you that day? It's because you scared me, building this house, putting a big ribbon around it... I didn't want to marry a dreamer. I'm not that brave. But when I see you through Gwen's eyes you look very different to me.
NEWTON DAVIS: How?
BECKY METCALF: Well, I could see how a dreamer, with somebody who believes in him, could do great things.
GWEN: I don't want your goddamn money.
NEWTON DAVIS: No, just my goddamn house.
GEORGE DAVIS: Gwen? I don't know what all the situation is between you and your folks, or between you and Newton, for that matter. So, I can't give you advise. I won't tell you what to do. I can only say, we love you, Gwen. You're family now. I don't know if that means anything anymore. But, we're here for you, sweetheart, if you need us. You are still in there, aren't you?