Wealthy heiress, Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn), is completely spoiled and accustomed to living the life of the idle and rich with her husband, Grant Stayton III (Edward Herrmann). While waiting for their yacht to be repaired in the rural hamlet of Elk Cove, Oregon, Joanna passes the time by hiring local carpenter, Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell), to remodel her closet. At first, Dean puts up with Joanna's rude and demanding attitude. However, when she refuses to pay because he didn't use cedar, the "right" type of wood according to Joanna, Dean says he will redo the cabinet for double pay. This enrages Joanna, and Dean loses his temper and tells her off, causing Joanna to toss him and his tool kit overboard.