It's Christmas 1980, and inside a sprawling Upper West Side apartment, Faye Bascov is about to throw an opulent Christmas dinner - a tradition for this secular, well-educated Jewish family. But any family gathering is an invitation for old resentments to boil over, as Faye's sister-in-law Julie and the extended family have plenty to hash out. Flash-forward to 2000, and the apartment, now much shabbier, reflects how the family's fortunes have changed, and the Bascovs now have to reckon with the legacy of their family discord.
Claire and her mother are running out of time, but they don't know it. Not yet. Claire is wrapped up with the difficulties of her bourgeoning adulthood ¿ boys, school, friends, identity; Claire's mother, a single mom, is rushed off her feet both at work and at home. They rarely find themselves in the same room at the same time, and it often seems that the only thing they can count on are notes to each other on the refrigerator door.
Beautifully told through notes left on their kitchen fridge, this is an intimate portrait of the relationship between a hard-working mother and her teenage daughter. Stunningly sad but ultimately uplifting, it is about being a "good mother" or a "good daughter", and is a reminder of how much can be said in so few words, if only we made the time to say them.