When his wife Kate (Monica Potter) walks out on him and their young son Calvin (Bobby Moat), Russ (Vince Vaughn), a lawyer in Chicago, is forced to relocate to rural Kansas. His low-key job at a local law firm gives him enough quality time for his five-year-old boy. He also manages to coach the local high school basketball team.

Although hesitant at first, Russ begins an affair with Beth (Joey Lauren Adams), a veterinarian's assistant who takes a fancy to him. Then without any notice, his estranged wife arrives in town wanting to reconnect with her son.

John H. Smith (The Boys of St. Vincent) directs this drama scripted by Matthew McDuffie from the novel Dance Real Slow. At first Russ can barely contain his rage against Kate, but he slowly warms to having her back in his life. Then a job offer at a large law firm in Texas forces him to take a long, hard look at what is most important in his life. A Cool, Dry Place offers much food for thought on single parenting and the deep ties between fathers and sons.