Bill and Julie live in thrifty middle-class wedded bliss with their 12-year-old son Sean. Julie brings home the bacon while Bill keeps house and frets over his never-ending PhD thesis: an anthropological study of the role of men in society. All is relatively well until Julie's ex-fianc?, the dashing and successful Blake Morgan, returns to Winnipeg ? with his wife and kids.While Bill takes solace in Blake's premature grey and pot belly, next to Blake's professional success Bill feels emasculated and questions what it means to be a man ? especially a domesticated one. Suddenly he starts seeing himself and his neighbours ? also stay-at-home dads with successful working wives, as research subjects for his thesis.Having reached a breakthrough in his PhD procrastination, Bill launches into a series of embarrassing, ridiculous, and goofy attempts to finish his "research," prove himself a mature and capable husband and father, and above all, prove his manliness.Rather than look directly in the mirror, Bill creatively tries to save his neighbours Dave and Paul, from self-destructive home-renos and delusional dream careers.