Brothers Clark (Steve Zahn) and Ross Edwards (Christian Slater) and can tailor a plan to influence any life-altering situation, thereby making their clients' dreams come true and their nightmares go away. They are partners in Edwards and Associates, an unusual business based on the belief that people's decisions are influenced by their environment in ways they're not aware.
A former university professor and world-renowned expert in the fields of human behavior, psychology and motivation, the frantic Clark has a checkered history, which stems from his bipolar disorder. Clark's academic career imploded when the university became aware he was having an affair with a 22-year-old undergraduate.
Ross, a brilliant schemer recently out of prison after a two-year stint for fraud, has come up with a business model that he believes can make him and his team millions of dollars. The divorced, incurable ladies' man roiling with ideas, often confuses honesty with opportunism. Although his energy is infectious, his tactics can be questionable and his strategies border on the illegal.
Their team of master manipulators includes the serious Latrell Griffin (Cedric Sanders), the geeky trust-fund-baby Miles Hood (Gregory Marcel), ex-con Samantha "Sam" Gordon (Jaime Ray Newman) and actress Megan Shane (Megalyn Echikunwoke). Also in the mix is Claire, Ross’ ex-wife and the one person who seems to have a calming effect on Clark. As Ross tries to woo a potential investor, Clark blurts out the truth about their questionable pasts. He also insults the guy and goes on a manic rant. Needless to say, they don’t get the money.
When they get back to the office, they find they have a client. They are asked to help a mother whose young son is suffering from a heart condition by convincing the health insurance company’s head of claims, Charles Murray, to approve a previously denied experimental treatment. Clark believes that raising this man’s adrenaline level to change his internal character. They have Latrell threaten Megan during their target’s morning bus ride. Murray steps in to defend her. The plan works to perfection.
During the bus ride, Megan thanks Murray for being the kind of person he is. He’s one of the good ones. Once Murray arrives in the office, he meets with the mother and her sick son. A short time later, their claim for medical treatment is approved. High-fives fly and hugs are given amongst the team at Edwards and Associates. Clark is also happy until he starts thinking about Beth Scott (Katherine Cunningham), the former undergrad student with whom he had the affair. He ends up breaking a window at her old place which gets him arrested.
After Ross picks up Clark at the police station, they learn that Murray’s superiors denied the young boy’s heart surgery. Clark freaks out. He quits the partnership. As for Ross, he sets up a press conference to thank the insurance company for approving the surgery, even though they didn’t. This approach doesn’t work. The insurance company threatens to sue for extortion. Claire brings in Clark to help save the day. He bluffs that his colleague is a government official who is all set to bring the company down. His plan works. The insurance company caves.
Ross lets Clark know that he amazes him. The only time his brother ever disappoints him is when he leaves. Clark promises to not do that anymore. Later, Beth approaches Ross, who says she cannot be here. They had an agreement. She was supposed to disappear. Beth knows what she did was supposed to be an act to get his brother fired, but she actually really likes Clark. So Ross brings her back to be reunited with his brother. He just wonders if she can handle an actual relationship with Clark.