Elliot Anderson (Kevin Costner) is a successful lawyer in Los Angeles who has a penchant for alcohol because of two big shocks they suffered in life. First, he lost his daughter aged just 17 when she gave birth to his niece, Eloise, who took care of his wife and raised her. His daughter, however, conceived with a black man, so Eloise color inherited from her father, but that did not prevent Elliot love her more than anything. The second shock comes when his wife is killed in a car accident. Left alone to take care of the little girl, he becomes drawn into a battle for custody of the girl by her grandmother from the father.