Grady (Michael Douglas) is a 50-ish English professor who hasn’t had a thing published in years — not since he wrote his award winning “Great American Novel” 7 years ago. This weekend proves even worse than he could imagine as he finds himself reeling from one misadventure to another in the company of a new wonder boy author.
The setting is Detroit in 1995. The city is divided by 8 Mile, a road that splits the town in half along racial lines. A young white rapper, Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. summons strength within himself to cross over these arbitrary boundaries to fulfill his dream of success in hip hop. With his pal Future and the three one third in place, all he has to do is not choke.
Irresponsible party girl Maggie (Cameron Diaz) is kicked out of her father’s (Ken Howard) and stepmother’s (Candice Azzara) home, where she lives for free, and is taken in by her hard-working sister, Philadelphia lawyer Rose (Toni Collette). After Maggie’s disruptive ways ruin her sister’s love life, Rose turns her out as well. But when their grandmother, who they never knew existed, comes into their lives, the sisters face some complicated truths about themselves and their family.