powered by AFI
DVDs from TCM Shop
Industrial designer Howard Osborne and his practical wife Claire are thrilled when their lovely, talented daughter Jacqueline, whom they call Jake, graduates from college. That evening, Claire and Howard welcome Roger Evans, an old family friend and Jake's godfather, who has been living in South America for many years. While Howard is bragging to Roger about Jake's intelligence and versatility, she is attending the faculty dance, at which she is pursued by young, handsome psychology instructor Matt Reagan. Matt confesses that he has loved Jake since she began taking his class five months previously, and Jake realizes that she returns his affections. Matt is dismayed, however, by Jake's revelation that she is leaving for three years to study with Howard's mentor in Sweden. After a starry-eyed Jake returns from the dance, the Osborne household settles down for the night, but Howard and Claire are awakened early in the morning by a banging shutter in Jake's room. Howard is alarmed to discover that Jake is missing, but his dismay changes to fury when Roger reveals that he accidentally caught Jake as she was leaving to elope with one of her professors. After a number of false starts, Howard, Claire and Roger arrive at the Reagan home, where they meet Matt's parents, Tom and Millie. Tom is irritated by Howard's imperious manner, and Millie and Claire begin to quarrel over the suitability of their respective children. Because Matt had told his parents that he was driving to Deerfield, Delaware with "a friend," the parents jump into their cars and dash off to intercept the eloping couple. Outside town, however, the Reagans' car breaks down, and Howard reluctantly stops to pick them up. With Roger and the Reagan's youngest son Daniel also aboard, the car is very crowded, and tempers flare during the overnight drive. In the morning, Matt and Jake buy a marriage license and eat at a distant truck stop, where Jake becomes jealous of Matt's description of an old flame. Meanwhile, Roger, who approves of Jake's attempt to break from her loving but overbearing father, takes the wheel from him when he recognizes Jake and Matt and avoids them as the cars pass each other. As evening approaches, a heavy rainstorm starts, and the weather allows Roger to change the sign pointing to Deerfield and lead the families in the opposite direction. Forced to stop, the Reagans and Osbornes are given shelter by farmer Simpson and his wife, who set them up in the barn. As the two families settle in and express their grudging affection for each other, Matt and Jake, who were also misled by Roger's sign change, end up at the Simpsons' farm. The couple is welcomed into the house, but Jake, nervous and tired, starts a fight with Matt and calls off their engagement. Howard and Claire see the young couple, as do Millie and Tom, but the parents keep their presence a secret because they have accepted the upcoming nuptials. The next morning, however, the Simpsons inform their guests that the couple called off their wedding and returned home during the night. After another long drive, the Reagans and Osborns reach their homes, where they greet Matt and Jake. Tom tries to talk Matt into changing his mind, while Howard tells Jake how nervous he was before he married Claire, and that it takes courage and determination to follow through on marriage plans. Pleased that Howard is more interested in her happiness than into molding her to his image, Jake rethinks her decision and decides to elope with Matt. Howard and Claire are again awakened by the banging shutter, but this time are elated to discover that Jake is missing. They are joined by Tom and Millie for a celebration, and as Howard boasts about what a good wife and mother Jake will be, he assures Tom that Jake's favorite movie is Cheaper by the Dozen .