High school senior John Baker Jr. (LUKAS HAAS) is fast approaching the end of a miserable stint at the Sherwood School for Boys. Staring him in the face are his father's footsteps--and an expected path through the corporate jungle he dreads to follow. But then a chance encounter with a damsel in distress suddenly and wondrously introduces him to love. John's life takes on new meaning when he rescues Patty Vare (WINONA RYDER), a sensuous and sophisticated "older woman" who lays on the ground, semi-conscious and bruised after falling from her horse.
Though immediately enchanted by Patty's beauty, Baker is similarly captivated by her sense of mystery. He soon learns that Patty is on the run. But from whom and why remains unknown. Determined nonetheless to shield her from her pursuers, the independent Baker breaks school rules and shelters Patty in his dorm room.
As mutual attraction turns to romance, a door is opened for each of them. For Baker, it reveals a glimpse of what adulthood can be. For Patty, it is a portal back to a time of innocence and purity.
Now, with new hope, Patty realizes she must reconcile the dark choices of her recent past, and Baker begins the journey from boyhood innocence to a young man's understanding of life and love.