The story is a pretty basic, if original one. Bill Murray plays Don Johnston, with a "T" as he says several times in the movie, a confirmed bachelor who has never really wanted anything else. The movie opens with Johnston's current girlfriend leaving him and immediately moves into the main plot premise. Johnston receives a letter with no signature and no return address, informing him that he has a son whom he has never met.
From there, Johnston is off on an adventure, prompted and urged on by his neighbor and best friend, to find the woman who bore his child and, possibly, his child.
The viewer is treated to four very different reactions by Johnston's old lovers as he forcibly intrudes on their lives. We see a warm welcome, cold, indifferent, and hostile in pretty much that order without ever finding out too much about Johnston or his relationships with these women.
The end of the film leaves several questions unanswered, and, although I enjoyed the movie, these unanswered questions are nagging. I don't feel that there were enough clues given in the movie to let the viewer draw any conclusions about Johnston's character, or what changes may have occurred within him, save one, which I won't spoil for the viewer.
Bill Murray is fantastic as always, keeping to his recent roles of mature man grows up, as seen in Lost in Translation and Rushmore. Jim Jarmusch is a director that takes some getting used to, but one who is well worth the effort of doing so. He provides a very lush, bright canvas for the viewer to work within, while keeping the story moving quickly and efficiently.
Overall, I really enjoyed it, while my wife hated it, and for the same reason: No definitive answer is given for any question raised by the movie. The viewer must look into the film and draw what conclusions he or she can without losing sight of the films main themes of loss for what one never had, and desire for something one has never known.