Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
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Based on the successful 1956 Broadway production of the same name by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Jule Styne, the film focuses on Ella Peterson, who works in the basement office of Susanswerphone, a telephone answering service. Peterson, based on Mary Printz, who worked at Green’s service, listens in on others’ lives and adds some interest to her own humdrum existence by adopting different identities for her clients. They include an out-of-work Method actor, a dentist with musical yearnings, and in particular playwright Jeffrey Moss, who is suffering from writer’s block and desperately needs a muse.
Preppy and wealthy Whitt Sheffield is in his last semester of law school when a professor assigns him to act as an advocate for a young, single mother who needs help finding – and keeping – a job. Whitt, whose snooty father wants Whitt to follow him into corporate law, is insulted by the low-class assignment, especially after he meets Kylie Burch, the woman he has to help. Kylie and Whitt clash at first, and it looks like Whitt will never be able to help her if he doesn’t understand her situation. But when Kylie and her son’s future as a family is suddenly threatened, Whitt discovers he and Kylie may not be so different, after all.