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Freelance artist Brooks Wilson lives in Westport, Connecticut, with his wife, Selma, and their two daughters. His marriage shaky, his affair with his mistress, Grace, at a crisis point, and his job unstable, Brooks begins to crack under the pressure. On the day of his appointment with trucking magnate Lepridon, an account he badly needs, Brooks gets drunk at a private club for advertising executives and insults the club's president. In spite of himself, Brooks makes a good impression on Lepridon. At a party in the suburbs given by Grace's aunt and uncle, Brooks learns that he has won the account. He tells neither his wife, who wants to buy a new house, nor Grace, who wants him to get a divorce, and instead drunkenly succumbs to the advances of Nelly, a man-hungry neighbor. While Brooks and Nelly begin to make love in a child's playroom, party guests assemble around their host's closed-circuit television screen to watch the awkward scene. Selma makes out the blurred images as Brooks becomes aware of the camera. He runs outside, trouserless, and is beaten in the snow by the woman's husband. Left alone with his wife, who angrily thrashes him with her handbag, he tells her that he has won the Lepridon account.