Montgomery "Monty" Capuletti is a hard-living, heavy-drinking, pot-smoking, gambling family man who makes his living as a baby photographer in New Dorp, Staten Island. He loves his wife Rose but has a very tense relationship with his wealthy, snobbish mother-in-law, Mrs. Monahan, who runs a successful department store chain and hates the way Monty acts and lives. There is an added ethnic rivalry between Monty and his wife's family, as he is Italian and they are Irish.

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Monty ultimately reforms. When the entire year is up, he and the family celebrate aboard a boat. To his chagrin though, Mrs. Monahan turns up. She had faked her own death simply to persuade her slovenly son-in-law to straighten up. Ultimately though, she gives the money to Monty on the basis he upheld her stipulation. Now rich, Monty and his family live in a mansion. Still in control, Mrs Monahan denies Monty dessert and coffee then commands a beer she found in the refrigerator be thrown out. Monty gleefully agrees to each action then says he's heading out for a walk. Mrs. Monahan gloats about her actions and that she finally has Monty under control to her daughter's chagrin. However, Monty has actually proceeded to a hideaway under the house to join Nicky and his friends for pizza, poker, and beer.

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