Claudia, a product demonstrator in her twenties, meets ailing matriarch Martha in a hospital room after Claudia is admitted for appendicitis. The women bond over a bag of potato chips passed between their beds. Martha has four kids from three different fathers; Claudia has been on her own her entire life. When Martha spots Claudia walking home alone after surgery, she offers her a lift in her crowded old yellow Beetle. Claudia accepts, after some hesitation - perhaps she sensed that getting into that car was going to change her life.