Seated next to each other on an airplane, Marie Barrett and Marie Harvey prove that family can be found anywhere you choose to make it. Marie Harvey is a grumpy, sarcastic, 49-year old woman on her way to Charleston for her divorce hearing. Marie Barrett is a bubbly, optimistic, 25-year old woman who wants nothing more than to talk to the other Marie sitting next to her.
Marie Harvey tries desperately to read her magazine and down Bloody Marys, but Marie Barrett keeps talking to her. She draws more and more information out of the reluctant Marie Harvey. It turns out that her impending divorce has estranged her from her children, and she feels she has nothing to show for her long marriage other than lawyers’ bills and a tan line where she used to wear her wedding ring.
When Marie Barrett starts to read without turning the overhead light on, Marie Harvey tells her in a motherly way that she should turn on the light if she doesn’t want to ruin her eyes. Marie Barrett comes to life, asking Marie Harvey all kinds of questions only a mother would know the answers to. When they discover they have the same name, Marie Barrett nearly jumps for joy.
Marie Barrett’s mother died in childbirth, and she has always wanted a mother to talk to. She asks Marie Harvey if she would mind being a sort of surrogate mother, someone she could have coffee with and talk to on the telephone once in awhile. She even offers to go to Marie Harvey’s divorce hearing so she doesn’t have to be alone.
Marie Harvey flat out refuses all of Marie Barrett’s requests. Victoria, the flight attendant, gets in on Marie Barrett’s cause and threatens to cut off Marie Harvey’s Bloody Mary flow. When Marie Barrett asks Marie Harvey if a lump is always indicative of cancer, Marie Harvey’s heart goes out to the motherless woman. Although Marie Harvey wants to deal with her divorce before she can think about adopting an adult daughter, she answers questions for the rest of the flight.