As with his earlier film The Joy Luck Club (1993), Chinese director Wayne Wang tackles mother-daughter relationships in this coming of age comedy-drama. Susan Sarandon stars as Adele August, a Bay City, Wisconsin, mother who longs for a more exciting and glamorous life in Beverly Hills, California. So she leaves her husband (Ray Baker) and packs her reluctant daughter Ann (Natalie Portman) into a gold Mercedes Benz, heading for L.A. When they arrive and move into an apartment they can't really afford, it becomes clear that Ann is the mature half of the duo, while Adele, a dreamer, is not firmly grounded in reality. Her plans include Ann's future career as an actress (a profession in which the girl has no interest) and landing a rich and handsome husband for herself, such as a dentist (Hart Bochner) who never calls Adele again after a one-night stand. When a family tragedy provokes a crisis between mother and daughter, the irresponsible Adele is forced to become a traditional mom for once.