Harvey Fairchild is a wealthy, Malibu-based architect who is turning 60 and suffering from a form of male menopause. He feels aches and pains, real or imaginary, and seems unhappy with his professional and personal life.
Harvey's patient wife Gillian tries to cheer him with family get-togethers and an elaborately planned birthday party. But she secretly has worries of her own, a throat condition that could result in the loss of her voice.
Whining his way through day after day, Harvey snaps at his pregnant daughter Megan and makes rude remarks to his actor son Josh. He tries going to a priest, only to discover that the man to whom he is confessing is an old rival from their college years at Notre Dame. He also consults a local psychic, Madame Carrie, sex with whom leaves Harvey with a venereal disease.
The miserable Harvey is furious with a client named Janice Kern who can't stop revising her plans for a magnificent house Harvey has been building, but he has meaningless sex with her as well. Gillian bravely hides her cancer fear from the family, but finally, overcome with emotion, she confides in her friend and neighbor, Holly.
Harvey threatens to spoil the birthday party for everybody. He is in such a foul mood that just because a friend named Belmont tells him a depressing story about an illness, he amuses himself by introducing Belmont to the VD-infected psychic.
Gillian warns her husband that he is going to lose everything if he continues to behave this way. During his party, Gillian's doctor arrives to inform her that the biopsy test results are negative and she is going to be all right. She takes Harvey aside to let him know just how precious life really can be.