Everybody in the small town of Harmon knows George Malley (John Travolta) as a nice guy, a good auto mechanic, and a dependable friend. But on his 37th birthday George begins to change.
As a result of an extraordinary occurrence, George's seemingly unremarkable life takes a mystifying and wondrous turn. George has a sudden insatiable appetite for learning, and begins to comprehend the beauty and intelligence of the universe. Suspicious about the new-found power of George's mind, and apprehensive about the riddle he has become, George's life-long friends begin to turn away from him. But with the love and support of the cautious, yet caring, Lace (Kyra Sedgwick), George is able to see the larger picture of his place in the scheme of things, and to trust the remarkable path of his life.
George discovers that it is what one leaves behind and gives to other people that makes life meaningful. It's not what you do, but what you inspire the people around you to do.