Philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) has been hired to teach at Braylen College. However, he's having problems of every kind. He suffers from anxiety, dizziness, can't perform in bed and can't stop drinking. He begins a relationship with a student named Jill (Emma Stone) and suddenly, he begins to enjoy life. However, Jill is worried about his sudden turnaround and doesn't trust that it's going to last.