Actress Reese Holden has been offered a small fortune by a book editor if she can secure for publication the love letters that her father, a reclusive novelist, wrote to her mother, who has since passed away. Returning to Michigan, Reese finds that an ex-grad student and a would-be musician have moved in with her father, who cares more about his new friends than he does about his own health and well-being.
Al, Louise, Max and Sy – four literary types who work in the theater business – are discussing what they believe to be the real life truths underlying their work, Max who writes primarily tragic plays, and Sy who writes primarily comic plays. Al proceeds to tell them a real story of a troubled woman named Melinda Robicheaux showing up unexpectedly at a door in the middle of an important business dinner party. Melinda long ago left her physician husband to embark on a relationship with who she initially believed to be the man of her dreams, which ended up not being the case. Melinda tries to put her life back together with the help of select people at the dinner party, some who have their own ulterior motives. Melinda’s appearance also opens up the cracks existing in the marriage of one of the couples at the dinner party, while it leads to the dissolution of a friendship that has existed since college. With this basic outline of a story, Max and Sy try to make their point of life being truly a tragedy or comedy on spinning Melinda’s story with their own mindset.
Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) has lived and worked on his father’s ranch in Mexico his entire life. As the ranch encounters financial difficulties, Armando’s younger brother Raul (Diego Luna), shows up with his new fiancé, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez). It seems that Raul’s success as an international businessman means the ranch’s troubles are over as he pledges to settle all debts his father has incurred. But when Armando falls for Sonia, and Raul’s business dealings turn out to be less than legit, all hell breaks loose as they find themselves in a war with Mexico’s most feared drug lord, the mighty Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal).
After Nick is fired from his sales job, mostly because of his penchant for alcohol, he comes home and finds that his wife has kicked him and all of his stuff out of the house and onto the front lawn. He is pretty intent on just sitting in his chair, drinking beer, on the lawn. His cop friend, Frank Garcia, thinks he should at least pretend to have a yard sale to make it legal. He slowly starts making friends with a neighborhood kid who needs something to do, and a pregnant wife who has just moved in across the street, and Nick finds himself moving on and selling all his stuff.
Orphan Mary Katherine Gallagher, an ugly duckling at St. Monica High School, has a dream: to be kissed soulfully. She decides she can realize this dream if she becomes a superstar, so her prayers, her fantasies, and her conversations with her only friend focus on achieving super-stardom. Her big chance is a school talent contest; her main competition is Evian, the school beauty, who is dancing with Sky, the object of Mary Katherine’s kiss dream. Mary Katherine gets some talent-show help from her fellow special education students, her grandma, and Jesus, and inspiration from secrets in her past. Watching are Sky, Evian, and a silent classmate.
The man with the yellow hat named Ted Shackleford works at a natural history museum that’s fallen on hard times. The museum director’s son wants to turn it into a parking lot, but Ted offers to bring back a mysterious idol from Africa that’s guaranteed to pull in crowds. Unfortunately, the idol turns out to be three inches tall. But Ted accidentally brings back a lonely yet irrepressible monkey, soon dubbed George. They set off on a non-stop action, fun-filled journey through the wonders of the big city toward the warmth of true friendship.
Three men, three dreams. It’s 1976 in Flint, Michigan. Jackie Moon’s American Basketball Association team languishes in last place, with few fans in the seats. Jackie dreams of a merger with the NBA. A tough-minded point guard named Monix is at the end of his career; he’s played on the champion Celtics but accepts a trade to Flint to be close to Lynn, the love of his life. Clarence “Coffee” Brown dreams of stardom: he’s the Tropics’ best player, but he’s a hotdog who doesn’t value teamwork. When the trio learns that a merger is in the works that won’t include the Tropics, they pull the team together to try to achieve the impossible. Can dreams come true in Flint?
The Roxbury Guys, Steve and Doug Butabi, want to get into the best club in town, and also hope to open their own club. Vivica, a gold-digging supermodel, and her friend Cambi try to work the Roxbury Guys for their money, only to find out the pair is broke.
Out in California’s San Fernando Valley, Isabel is trying to reinvent herself. A naïve, good-natured witch, she is determined to disavow her supernatural powers and lead a normal life. At the same time, across town, Jack Wyatt a tall, charming actor is trying to get his career back on track. He sets his sights on an updated version of the beloved 1960s situation comedy Bewitched, re-conceived as a starring vehicle for himself in the role of the mere-mortal Darrin. Fate steps in when Jack accidentally runs into Isabel. He is immediately attracted to her and her nose, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the nose of Elizabeth Montgomery, who played Samantha in the original TV version of Bewitched. He becomes convinced she could play the witch Samantha in his new series. Isabel is also taken with Jack, seeing him as the quintessential mortal man with whom she can settle down and lead the normal life she so desires. It turns out they’re both right–but in ways neither of them ever imagined.
Everybody knows that your life is a story. But what if a story was your life? Harold Crick is your average IRS agent: monotonous, boring, and repetitive. But one day this all changes when Harold begins to hear an author inside his head narrating his life. The narrator it is extraordinarily accurate, and Harold recognizes the voice as an esteemed author he saw on TV. But when the narration reveals that he is going to die, Harold must find the author of the story, and ultimately his life, to convince her to change the ending of the story before it is too late.