A fast-lane investment broker, offered the opportunity to see how the other half lives, wakes up to find that his sports car and girlfriend have become a mini-van and wife and his plush downtown apartment, a family home in New Jersey surburb hell!
The time is Christmas Eve and smug big-wig city stockbroker Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) gives some friendly advice on the nature of success to a down-at-heels itinerant called Cash (Don Cheadle). However he soon discovers that he has patronised the wrong guy.
Although he does not know it, Campbell has, from this moment, walked straight into a Twilight Zone fable on compassion and responsibility.
As he wakes up on Christmas morning, it is not in his nice plush New York apartment, but in the suburban sticks of New Jersey, with a wife, two kids and a dead-end job.
Cash, it turns out, is a latter day Jacob Marley, giving Campbell a 'glimpse' of Christmas As It Could Have Been.
As it could have been, that is, if Campbell had *not* taken that flight to London thirteen years earlier, and if he had *not* broken up with Kate (Téa Leoni), but instead married her and settled down to a blissful family life.
Campbell, though certainly greedy, is no Scrooge. Even so, this does not stop him being given a rough time.
Cash not only whisks him off to a parallel life without explanation, but makes off with his Ferrari to boot, leaving Campbell to figure it all out for himself.