After spending their entire 6-day honeymoon in a suite at New York's Plaza Hotel, Corie and Paul Bratter move into their Greenwich Village apartment. For the optimistic Corie, the whole adventure of making a home is pure enchantment; but Paul, a conservative lawyer, is dismayed by the inconvenience and general drabness. Their upstairs neighbor, Victor Velasco, is a self-admitted rake accustomed to using their bedroom window to reach his own quarters because he has been evicted by the landlord. Corie is fascinated by Victor's continental manner, and she decides that he would be the perfect companion for her widowed mother. When they all go to an Albanian restaurant on Staten Island, Corie's mother, Mrs. Banks, drinks and eats everything that is bad for her ulcer, falls down a flight of stairs, and ends up spending the night at Victor's. The evening also precipitates a quarrel between Corie and Paul, and Corie demands a divorce. Paul goes on a binge, gives his topcoat to a tramp in Washington Square, and starts running barefoot in the 30-degree weather to Central Park. After a talk with her mother, who admits to a pleasant but harmless evening with Victor, Corie realizes that marriage should be more than a lark. Repentant, she goes to find Paul and bring him home; but, drunkenly determined to live up to Corie's idea of fun, he crawls out on the roof through their skylight and teeters on the ledge. Corie climbs after him and assures him that she does not want him to change. A crowd of sidewalk spectators, including Mrs. Banks and Victor, break into spontaneous applause as the newlyweds reconcile.