Elliott (Richard E. Grant), is a life-long mummy's boy and aspiring Oedipus. When his mother receives a letter from his long lost father begging for forgiveness, he realises he must protect her. Elliott makes his way to out-of-season Southend with plans of bumping off his no-good, deserter of a father, Monty (Denholm Elliott). But it seems Monty has embellished on the truth somewhat - he is living in a decaying hotel with his less than glamorous girlfriend Judith (Julie Walters). As Elliott gets caught up in life in Southend, he realises that his plan might be a little difficult to execute than he had first expected.