Barney Cashman, the 47-year-old owner of a New York seafood restaurant, who is facing a severe midlife crisis. He describes himself as a "nice" man with a "nice" wife, living a "nice," but completely uneventful life.
He has been faithful to his wife during their 33-year marriage, but he has romantic fantasies. Determined to experience for one afternoon a memorable romantic episode before he dies, Barney plans to use his mother's apartment to lure a prospective lover. He is able to lure three different women to his make-shift love nest: Elaine Navazio, a sexpot who likes cigarettes, whiskey, and other women's husbands; Bobbi Michele, an actress friend who he discovers is madder than a hatter; and Jeannette Fisher, his wife's best friend, a staunch moralist.
His career as a spoiler of women quickly proves to be laughably unsuccessful. Try as he might, he didn't convince any of them to sleep with him. In the end, Barney has to settle for seducing his wife Thelma... but apparently she is not too eager to accept his invitation!