On a hot summer night in the small town of Shermer, Illinois, Robin (Alessandro Nivola) vandalizes a shop and is put in jail by Quinn (William Sadler), the sheriff who blames him for the death of his nephew in a drowning accident years ago. While Ernie (Bruce Norris), the night duty officer, is off trying to make love to Donna (Karen Sillas), Robin steals a key to his cell and slips away to cause more trouble in town. Then he returns to his cell leaving the lawmen bewildered.

Besides the pranks of this youthful outsider, writer John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles) wants to explore the shadow connection between Quinn and the delinquent. Turns out they have a lot in common and both are in need of a reconciliation. Director William Ryan ups the dramatic ante in the finale when Lisa (Brooke Langton), daughter of the richest man in the community, arrives to say goodbye to Robin. Their heated confrontation speaks volumes about sexual politics and the barriers that divide people in small towns.