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Maid to Order (1987) - Plot Summary Poster

(1987)

Plot

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Summaries

  • Spoiled Jessie Montgomery, whose wild behavior and spending excesses cause her well-meaning but exasperated millionaire father Charles to wish he never had her, is visited by fairy godmother Stella. In an effort to save Jessie, Stella casts a spell which causes Charles to no longer have a daughter. Jessie, now penniless and without a friend, must take a maid's job to earn a living, and hopefully to learn her lesson...

  • The reckless Jessica Montgomery is the spoiled daughter of the wealthy millionaire Charles Montgomery, who dedicates his life to philanthropy. In order to compensate the absence of her mother, her father gave everything money can afford, but Jessie has a total lack of character. When Jessie is arrested for driving in high speed using drugs, her good father regretfully wishes he would have never had a daughter. His wishes are heard by Jessie's godmother Stella Winton and her former existence is erased from Earth. Jessie has to learn how to survive, working as a maid in the mansion of a weird couple. She becomes friend of the household staff and falls for Nick, becoming a better woman.

  • Jessie Montgomery is a spoiled girl, who only likes to party and doesn't care about anyone. When he latest stunt lands her in jail, her father wishes that he never had a daughter. So Stella, her fairy godmother, gets her out of jail but informs her that she is no longer the person she was. When she goes to her house, her father doesn't recognize her and claims that he has no daughter. Stella then tells her that she's getting what she deserves. She then tells jessie to find a job and the only job she can get is that of a maid working for the Starkeys, an unusual couple, who are agents.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • Jessie Montgomery (Ally Sheedy) is a spoiled heiress with no interest in her father's Charles (Tom Skerritt) philanthropy. She declines her widowed father's invitation to a Starlight Foundation fundraiser so she can party at a nightclub with her boyfriend, Bret (Jason Beghe), who insists this is the last time he is going out with her. Her other friends are more than happy to take advantage of Jessie's generosity in paying the bill. Or rather, her father's generosity, and he is not happy to see the extravagant amount on her credit card receipt.

    That night, Jessie is caught speeding through the Hollywood Hills, cocaine falls out of her purse and she is arrested. When her father gets the call, he is so disappointed, he wishes he never had a daughter. Suddenly, a star brightly twinkles in the sky and Stella (Beverly D'Angelo), Jessie's no-nonsense fairy godmother, magically arrives at the jail. Jessie does not believe the fairy godmother part, but is thrilled to learn that no charges are being pressed. Jessie is stunned, however, to leave the police station with no money or credit cards. Stella informs her that the old Jessie no longer exists. She has no past, no money and no family. Jessie does not believe Stella and goes home, but her father does not recognize her and drives off. Jessie breaks into the house and loses her shoes while being chased off by the dog, the staff and police. Jessie calls her father that night, but he insists that he does not have a daughter and hangs up.

    In the park, Jessie sees Stella and demands to know what is happening. Stella informs Jessie that while some maids deserve to be princesses, some princesses deserve to be maids. Stella tells Jessie that Charles wished that he never had a daughter, so instead of appearing before him and granting the wish, Stella has instead orchestrated it to appear that Jessie has never existed from Charles' life. Jessie's father is under a spell (all of his memories about Stella are gone) and it could be permanent unless Jessie changes, and she should start by getting a job.

    The next morning, a bedraggled Jessie fishes a pair of shoes out of a dumpster and goes to an employment agency, arriving just as the owner receives a request for a White live-in maid. Jessie balks, but she has no choice. She accepts the uniform and arrives at the Malibu mansion of ran eccentric music talent agent Stan Starkey (Dick Shawn) and his equally vain and shallow wife, Georgette (Valerie Perrine), who favors big wigs and incredibly over-the-top fashion choices. Jessie gets off to a bad start when she surprises the other maid, Maria (Begoña Plaza), and breaks Maria's Walkman radio in the process.

    Audrey James (Merry Clayton), who works as the cook, and Maria bet that Jessie will not last twenty-four hours, but even they are surprised when Jessie is fired an hour later for commenting on Stan's hair transplant bandages. Fortunately, Georgette talks Stan into giving Jessie another chance.

    Unfortunately, Jessie is a terrible maid. She also struggles to get along with the rest of the staff, including Nick McGuire (Michael Ontkean), the chauffeur who is an aspiring songwriter. Georgette and Stan want to promote a rock band named Loaded Blanks, so they decide to host a fundraiser for the Starlight Foundation. They invite Jessie's father, Charles, to discuss the event and he brings Stella (who is his new fiancee). Jessie privately confronts Stella and their argument ends with Jessie wishing Stella would leave her alone. Stella grants that wish, and magically keeps Jessie from talking to Charles before they leave. Jessie is heartbroken, and realizes she made a big mistake as now she is stuck in this living hell of being a maid and will never see her father Charles or Stella again.

    On Sunday, the Starkeys and their daughter, Brie (Rainbow Phoenix), leave for Las Vegas. Against Maria's wishes, Audrey invites Jessie to join them for Sunday dinner at Audrey's house. Jessie declines but eventually decides to go. On the way to Audrey's, Jessie buys a new Walkman for Maria, which helps mend their relationship. Jessie meets Audrey's family and learns Audrey James was once a famous singer, but an alcohol problem sidetracked her career. Audrey does not want to discuss it and is more worried about coming up with $10,000 for her daughter's college tuition. Jessie is surprised when Nick picks them up in the limousine to take them home; and, a few days later, Jessie is impressed when she asks Audrey to sing one of Nick's ballads.

    Suddenly, Jessie has a new attitude and it is reflected in her work and friendships with the rest of the staff, especially Nick. Romance blossoms for Nick and Jessie as preparations for the Starlight Foundation fundraiser progress. At the party, Jessie, Nick, Audrey and Maria take a moment to watch from an upstairs balcony. They each wish for something: Audrey wishes for $10,000 for her daughter's tuition; Maria wishes someone else would clean up after the party; Nick wishes everyone attending, especially the music industry heavyweights, could hear his music; and Jessie (still distraught and feeling that she has nothing left in this world) wishes that all their wishes would come true. Unbeknownst to Jessie, Stella happily overhears this exchange.

    Outside, the show is about to start when Stella works her magic and a falling coconut knocks out Dude, the lead singer of Loaded Blanks. Jessie, Audrey, Nick and Maria rush outside to help, but Dude wakes up with amnesia. Stan wants Loaded Blanks to go on without Dude, but they are just the back-up band. Jessie interrupts and announces that Audrey can sing. The Loaded Blanks band members recognize Audrey and know her music. Stan is amazed and the show goes on with Audrey fronting the band. She is a tremendous hit and, for her second song, Audrey pulls Nick on stage to play piano as she sings his song. By the end of the evening, Audrey has a check for $10,000 from an executive at Capitol Records who says Audrey and Nick are going to be very successful.

    Maria's wish also comes true and she is stunned to find the kitchen is completely clean. And the evening was a fund raising success. As Charles leaves, Georgette and Stan tell him that the event made $40,000 for the Starlight Foundation. Stella asks Jessie to step outside to say goodbye because Stella is moving on. Jessie claims to be Stella's first failure, but Stella disagrees and points at Jessie's feet. Jessie is suddenly wearing the beautiful shoes she lost when being chased from her home. And Jessie's father suddenly recognizes her again. They happily embrace before he leaves, saying he will see her at home later. Jessie thanks Stella for everything. As Stella drives off, her car turns into a bubble and flies into the night sky. Nick joins Jessie outside, they kiss... and live happily ever after.

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