The films gets off to a fast start set in the late 1970s where we meet the Bontempos; Grace (Helen Mirren) and her husband of 22 years Charlie (Joe Pesci) who are the owners and operators of the first legal brothel in Nevada.
The business is making money, but the personal problems are real; Grace wants Charlie to act more like a regular husband and Charlie wants Grace to become more savvy in business. The truth is that Grace is tired of the constant stream of entrepreneurial exploits that Charlie thrives on. But it seems like this tension between their personalities is one reason they have been together for so long.
Prostitution is not a secret in any state, and Nevada is no exception, it’s just legal here. But it’s not easy being the first to do anything, and their business has more than its share of problems. Between dodging the Internal Revenue Service and defending themselves from the attacks of the moral right because of their claims that prostitution “objectifies” women keep them with more action going on than in the rooms of their paying customers.
But none of this bothers Charlie who proclaims that they have the “best” business in the world at their annual New Year’s bash. Through Charlie’s eyes the most important thing is to keep their customers happy and he is works hard to satisfy them, and to chooses to ignore those people who don’t like what he does for a living. The customers all seem to agree and enjoy having their arms wrapped around many different beautiful women anytime they want.
As if things were not complicated enough, Charlie decides that it would be a great attraction to have the popular Argentinean heavyweight boxer Armando Bruza (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) use their location as his training ground.
Grace is not excited about the idea and doesn’t have much faith in it either. To make matters worse, Armando is determined to seduce her and he finally succeeds bringing all of the conflicted emotions that Grace has felt for years to light. The result is the inevitable love triangle where passions escalate leading to violence and murder.