Shy, chain-smoking, insomniac Peter McGowan is an L.A. playwright with a string of hits that preceded his current ten years of failed productions. His mother-in-law is sinking into senility, a stranger is meandering the neighborhood claiming to be him, neighbors have a new dog that barks all night; his wife wants to have a child, and he does not: he’s become impotent. He’s working on a new play when a single mom moves in next door with her 8-year-old daughter. His wife immediately invites the girl into the McGowan household. Will this child stir Peter’s paternal feelings? Will she also help him get his dialogue right? And what of his doppelganger and the neighbor’s dog?