(EMMY ROSSUM) leaves her abusive stepfather and tornados out of Kansas for New
York to follow the faint trail of her biological dad whom she’s never
known. With nothing more to go on than a nickname, Nola has readied herself
for the impossible search with the dream of also making it as a singer/songwriter.
After a cold night spent in Central Park, Nola lands a job at an East Village
diner owned by an eccentric and mysterious woman named Margaret (MARY MCDONNELL),
who runs an escort service. Margaret recognizes in Nola a fellow outsider and
offers her a place in her extended family that includes Ben (JAMES BADGE DALE),
the diner’s cook and part-time law student, tabloid columnist Leo (STEVEN
BAUER), and a transvestite named Wendy (MICHAEL CAVADIAS) who is one of Margaret’s
Nola comes to see that, while the city may be daunting in many respects, it
is also, quickly, disarmingly welcoming and takes her up as one of its own.
Nola flourishes in her strange new life and surroundings, and begins to question
whether she knows as much as she thinks and if she’s falling for the cook.
After the transgendered Wendy defends herself against a client, Niles Sternlicht
(THOM CHRISTOPHER), he threatens to destroy Margaret’s life and career.
Nola helps Wendy skip town, further enraging Sternlicht and inciting him to
begin legal action against Margaret and bring down her escort service.
Like a romantic comedy with a cynical twist, NOLA makes the impossible seem
even probable as Nola and Ben come to Margaret’s rescue in a courtroom
scene worthy of a three-card Monte dealer. And in the end, Nola finds friendship,
love and the past she never knew.