Two strangers, a man and a woman, board a San Francisco BART train at 4:30 a.m. They're alone in the car, each is married, both are doing the New York Times crossword. She's an organized, sensible psychologist.
He's a free-spirited, unemployed ad exec. She is a crossword pro, he always quits. When he tosses his puzzle away, she snaps, "Crosswords are a metaphor for life, those who finish, succeed, those who don't, fail."
Now he vows to finish. Why? He's a competitor and she happens to be lovely. This starts an eighty-minute ride described by critics as "Hilarious," "Witty," "Romantic," "Poignant," and "Wonderfully entertaining."
Two opposites in an enclosed space, attacking each other's values but also being swayed and intrigued by them. They each have serious life problems that the other helps solve.
Their trip is filled with unpredictable, but believable, surprises, even a passionate kissing embrace or two. As the train ride ends, it's obvious each of them has been changed for the better.