Based on a true story. Donna Lee Shelby (Kirstie Alley), a mentally retarded girl who lives in Forest Haven, an institution for the developmentally disabled, meets Ricardo Thornton (Delroy Lindo), a fellow resident. When Forest Haven is closed by a court order, Donna and Ricardo venture into the real world on their own. Their friendship and dependency on each other blossoms into love. They marry and have a child together, who does not suffer from mental retardation.