Judi Dench stars as Bridget, a respectable and dutiful upper middle-class wife to Mark (Ronald Pickup) and mother to Serafina (Joely Richardson). After discovering that her husband of 20 years has been philandering with Rebecca (Frances Barber) a much younger woman, and wants a divorce, Bridget is shocked to the core but willing to not kick up a fuss. She quietly adjusts to her new and unexpected life, filling her days with part-time work, church-going and evening classes until, five years later, it dawns on her that her life has become emotionally empty. Bridget decides to stop being so "perfectly splendid" about her situation. She moves out of the flat her ex-husband packed her off to all those years ago, and back into the family home! As she begins to have some fun of her own she thoroughly scandalizes her family and friends, leaving a trail of chaos in her wake.