Synopsis:BURT BELLWOOD rules over the fading newspaper, The Daily Record, with an iron fist. The young crew, including the boyish and nerdy ZACK and his disabled girlfriend KATE, are fighting the slow death of the industry, covering any story their small town offers. But no matter what ideas Zack comes up with, Burt pointedly shoots them down. Zack retaliates by pushing Burt's buttons via subtle insubordination, such as refusing to wear a tie on weekends. Burt complains to PATRICK DRAKE, the editor, but his complaints fall on deaf ears - Zack has talents the newspaper needs. To make matters worse, Burt's wife MAYLA leaves him and takes their children with her.
Now alone, Burt tries his own subtle approach and invites Zack fishing. Zack has no choice but to accept, and uses the chance to razz Burt about his ancient musical tastes; Burt, in turn, gripes about the "feminist" attitudes of the modern youth, and Zack's attempts at analyzing the old curmudgeon he's spending the day with. They catch some fish and arrange another meeting, at a tavern. Here Burt confesses to Zack about his wife leaving him, and Zack challenges Burt to go and win her back. After some convincing by Kate, Zack even offers to drive.
They embark on the trip; Burt orders Zack to stay off the interstate, which turns the trip into an overnight journey. At the diner for breakfast the next day, Burt panics; this level of emotional openness is "cheesy" to him, and it frightens him to death. Zack prods him on, but Burt accidentally kills their engine and they have to walk. They argue all the way to Mayla's door, when Burt succumbs and does the "cheesy" act complete with flowers. In an unexpected, but necessary, conclusion, Mayla and Burt decide that they can't be together, but she will allow him joint custody of the kids. Meanwhile, Zack and Burt have discovered a friendship of sorts.