Garrison Keillor has observed, "Childhood is a small town everyone came from." In this pleasant coming-of-age film, Evan Rachel Wood plays Harriet, a ten-year-old misfit who wants to flee from her tedious life in a small town. She has fantasies of being rescued by UFOs. Her divorced mother (Cathy Moriarty) and her slutty sister Gwen (Mary Stuart Masterson) are impatient with her escapades.

Then Harriet befriends Ricky (Kevin Bacon), a retarded young man whose terminally ill mother is taking him to an institution for permanent care. At last she has someone who can join in her world of make-believe. Harriet and Ricky are good medicine for each other. In his debut as a director, Timothy Hutton squeezes some touching moments out of this relationship.