With scenes of Manhattan, we hear a man leaving a message on the answering machine of Meryl Morgan (Sarah Jessica Parker). He says it is Paul (Hugh Grant) calling, and thought of her today, as it was the 3 month anniversary of their separation. He says he saw her on the cover of the New Yorker magazine, and what a great success shes made herself as a realtor and her office. The machine stops, and hes run out of time. Paul calls back, and tells her he regrets what he did, and asks if she is getting the gifts he has been sending. The machine shuts off, and once again, he calls back to finish leaving his message. He says he misses her.
Meryl Morgan is a speaker at a formal dinner and fundraiser for charity, and while giving her speech at the podium, she sees Paul in the back, and gets very flustered, and cant follow her notes. She ad-libs, and finishes. They go outside, and Paul tells her he wants to talk, which is a switch, as he never wanted to before. They both have assistants following them, and they find an opening in the schedules, so the two can meet for dinner. After the dinner, they decide to walk home together and talk. It begins to rain, and he apologizes profusely for sleeping with someone else. Before they can resolve anything, they arrive at the address of her clients home, where she is scheduled for a showing. She looks up, and he is on the terrace in the rain, with no umbrella. Then he moves forward, and falls over the balcony to the ground, dead, with a knife in his back. The killer is behind him, and has a gun in his hand. He clearly sees them staring up at him, and they run, and escape. They are now witnesses to the murder. The police come and tell them the man killed was an international arms dealer. The go home, each to their own place, with a police guard.
The next morning, the killer sees a store window with a large version of the New Yorker magazine, and sees Meryl Morgan on it; now he knows her name and where she works. The killer comes to Meryls apartment, disguised as a cop, and shoots the guard outside her door. She screams, and opens the door when she hears the gunshot, see the killer, and then slams the door and locks it. He shoots the lock and breaks sown the door, as Meryl climbs out on the balcony. She is safe, and the real police come, and so does Paul. The police tell them that he is a professional killer and wont stop coming after them, so they have to go into hiding in the Witness Relocation Program, until he is caught. They both balk at this, but eventually realize they have no choice. They board a private jet, and take off. Once in the air, the police tell them they are going into hiding in Wyoming. Their cover will be that Meryl is the cousin of Marshall Clay Wheeler, and visiting from Chicago. Meryl explains that they are separated, and dont ant to go into hiding together. The police say that for now, they have to, but they will arrange different spots for them at a permanent site. For a week or so, they will be together in Wyoming.
They land in Cody, Wyoming at night, and are met at the airport by Clay (Sam Elliott). He wears a cowboy hat, and has a white moustache, and looks very much like a cowboy. Meryl is chilly, and he agrees to take them into town to the Bargain Barn for some shopping. It is like a Costco, and Meryl and Paul are amazed at the quantities and low prices. Paul is interested in the aerosol cans of bear repellant he sees, and buys several. At the store, they meet Clays wife, Emma (Mary Steenburgen), who is buying a rifle.
Clay tells them they are in seclusion at his place which is several miles outside the small town of Ray. They need to stay on the grounds there, as much as possible, to not raise suspicions. There is just one spare bedroom, and Meryl lets Paul have it. They are told that the computer and phone both have a code on them, so they cannot use either unless they have permission and the code. She sleeps on the sofa.
Back in NYC, the killer comes to Meryls real estate office, saying he is in the market to buy a property and wants to work with Meryl. Meryls assistant, Jackie (Elisabeth Moss), tells him she is away, but will call when she returns. When she isnt looking, he puts a bug under the desk, and slips one into her purse.
In the morning, Emma has made a big western breakfast, which Paul eats, but Emma wont, as shes a vegetarian. They decide to go for a run. Meryl worries that they might never get back to New York, and Paul tells her to just imagine this is a much-needed vacation. When they return to the cabin, a bear comes near Paul and they panic. Meryl is in the cabin, and reads the information from the bear repellant to Paul. It says to speak in a soft monotone to the bear, and avoid eye contact. When this doesnt work, he runs toward the cabin; Meryl sprays the bear repellant out the door, and gets Paul in the eyes before she can spray the bear. The bear leaves, and Pauls eyes are sore. They take him to the doctor in town. When Paul and the doctor are in the examination room, Meryl sneaks the phone and leaves a message for the adoption agency she was using in New York, and says that circumstances have changed and she might not be in a position to adopt.
She tells this to Paul late, and he is surprised she did this after they were separated. She explains that when they couldnt conceive, she was disappointed he didnt mention adopting. Paul responds by reminding her it was originally his idea to adopt. But, she got so crazed and wired with all the infertility treatments and hormone injections, and that he couldnt talk to her anymore. They talked about his affair-he cheated once, when he was in LA on a business trip. He apologizes again.
The assistants in New York are going crazy trying to run things at both offices without either Paul or Meryl. As they talk, Jackie tells Pauls assistant, Adam (Jesse Liebman) that she had a call from the adoption agency, and she has Meryls phone number from her. The killer gets the phone number from his bugging devices, and starts to find the Morgans in Wyoming.
While in Wyoming, Clay and Emma take the Morgans horseback riding, and then for shooting lessons. Meryl does well shooting a tin can, but Paul misses, and bruises his shoulder from the rifle. When they go back to the doctor again, he asks Meryl for her assistance in selling his mothers home. She looks at a photo of the house, makes some suggestions and agrees to help. She spiffs up the exterior and talks it up to a prospective buyer, and Paul is impressed. He asks her out on a date, and she says yes.
He takes her to the only restaurant in town, Annettes. They have a nice dinner, and when they leave, they see the doctor, and he tells them they can take his truck and drive themselves home. They get lost, and pull over to talk about their relationship. Then they head home. Next morning, they go jogging again, and run through town. By now, they know several people who greet them as they run past. They enjoy a round of Bingo with the town folk, and win $15.
At night, Meryl calls Paul outside; he goes and she shows him all the stars as it is a clear night. They are amazed at how many they can see compared to New York. Meryl quotes Shakespeare, and reminds him it was her wedding vows to him. She asks if he remembers his, and he recites them perfectly. She asks what came next and he couldnt remember. She says, You may kiss the bride and he says Thats right, and then she repeats.You may KISS THE BRIDE and he finally understands, and kisses her out under the starry sky. He carries her inside, and back to his room.
In the morning, they receive the information that they have 2 days until their permanent, separate sites are ready, and they still havent caught the killer. They talk some more, about wanting children and if they'd be good parents.
Meryl needs to talk to Emma but she isnt there, so she talks to Clay. She tells him that while they were separated, she slept with one man, and wants to know what to do. While milking the cows, he says to be gentle, and she agrees. At the Rodeo Dance that night, she tells Paul she doesnt want to go to a separate site; she wants to go with him. He is thrilled, and then she tells him she slept with another man. He leaves the dance, hurt. She follows and tries to explain, but he is too upset to listen, and tells her she probably just did it for revenge. This makes Meryl furious, and they argue.
In the morning, they are both crabby and mad, and decide not to go to the Rodeo with Emma and Clay. They both pack since they are supposed to leave for the new location, and Paul decided to keep the bear repellant spray in his pocket. The killer drives up, and when he walks across the property, the bear comes after him. He takes a shot, and Meryl and Paul hear it. They look and recognize the killer. They lock the doors and Meryl tries to shoot him. The rifle only held 2 shots, so when it was empty, they run out the back and get on the horse and ride off. They ride to the Rodeo, and look for Clay for help. He is announcing the event, and the killer is looking for them in the stands. They grab the 2-person steer costume, and Meryl is the head and Paul is the back end. She sneezes and the real bull hears, and charges. It knocks them down and Paul is worried Meryl was hurt, but shes ok. He chases after the killer and tries to spray his face with bear repellant, but mistakenly sprays his own face. The killer ahs his gun on Paul, but the Emma, and many townsfolk also surround them with their guns, and then Clay flings a horseshoe at the killer, hitting him in the head. He is arrested and taken away. Meryl tells Paul that she can't believe he risked his life for her and that she trusts him and loves and forgives him and they kiss.
Six months later, we see Meryl and Paul getting off a plane in New York, and they are carrying a tiny Chinese baby, which they have just adopted. They take the baby to their new apartment, and decide to name her Rae, after the city in Wyoming, but with a different spelling. Meryl holds Rae up to see the beautiful view and turns, and we see she is visibly pregnant. Paul remarks, that there isnt a more beautiful view, as he looks at his wife and daughter. Then he says he hopes the next baby comes out Chinese, too, and they smile.