Billy Regis (Chris Mulkey), a serial philanderer with an epically foul mouth, is less than delighted to hear that his downriver girlfriend Patti Rocks (Karen Landry) is pregnant with his child. To complicate matters, Billy has neglected to inform Patti about his wife and kids in Minneapolis. A frantic Billy persuades his straitlaced best friend, Eddie Hassit (John Jenkins), to come with him on a debauched overnight road trip to find Patti, admit his sins and persuade her to have an abortion.
In rural North Dakota during World War I, struggling farmer Ray Sorenson (Robert Behling) decides to become an activist for the burgeoning Nonpartisan League, a labor union attempting to organize the region’s farmers against the railroads and banks which are consistently undercutting their livelihood with unfair payments. But many of the farmers don’t trust the union either, fearing that it’s too socialistic, and afraid that the banks and railroads will retaliate harshly.
A young, terminally ill cancer patient gradually comes to accept his condition through his friendship with a kidney patient awaiting a donation. As the title implies, the cancer patient makes a wonderful gift to his friend after he passes on.
D.P. Murphy works as an insurance fraud investigator, frequently clashing with his overbearing boss Wesley Harden. He lives with girlfriend Kimiko which doesn’t stop him from quarreling with ex-wife Marissa.
Mary Mulligan (Julie Christie) is an Englishwoman who has relocated to Argentina to work as a governess for a rich family. Charged with looking after three children — Teresa (Barbara Bunge), Johnny (Donald McIntyre) and Carolina (Sofia Viruboff) — Mary must adjust to a foreign culture and cope with being an outsider in an unfamiliar country. While Mary has comfortable working conditions, she eventually becomes restless, dissatisfied with her increasingly fascist surroundings.
The lives of the inhabitants of El Callejón de los Milagros, in downtown Mexico City, are as closely knitted as the threads of a rug. Fifty-something Don Ru owns a small “cantina” where all the men spend afternoons playing domino. He’s tired of his longtime marriage with Eusebia and has recently discovered new feelings inside his heart. It does not matter if these feelings are not aimed to a young lady but to a young clerk after all, as one of the characters says, “it’s platonic love”. Don Ru’s son Chava does not like what he sees and almost kills his father’s lover. Running away from Don Ru’s anger, Chava escapes to the USA with his friend Abel who is deeply in love with beautiful Alma, the daughter of Doña Cata, a tarot reader with bad luck in love.