A handsome cardiologist and his late brother's wife enter into a marriage of convenience while realizing that the harder they work to maintain their "pretend" union, the deeper their love for one another grows. When successful, 30-year-old Washington, D.C. surgeon Jake Lever (Adam Kaufman
) learns that his estranged older brother Benjamin has died, the news comes as a startling surprise. Jake and his mother Janice (Mercedes Ruehl
) hadn't spoken to Benjamin since he moved away to become a rabbi and began devoting all of his time to his faith and his rabbinical duties. They aren't religious, so when they arrive in Benjamin's Hasidic, Brooklyn, New York community and meet his young widow Leah (Lauren Ambrose
), Jake and Janice are virtual strangers to the people Benjamin devoted his entire life to. When the still-single Jake is asked to honor an ancient Levirate marriage law stating that he marry the childless Leah in order to carry on his brother's name or reject Benjamin's existence entirely, he finds latter prospect unthinkable despite being seriously involved with beautiful surgeon Carol (Christy Pusz
). On a whim, Jake suggests to Leah that they marry under accordance with Levirate law and secretly maintain a plutonic relationship. Realizing that this may be her one opportunity to follow her own dreams without disappointing her domineering mother Malka (Susie Essman
), Leah accepts. But love works in mysterious ways, and over time, Jake and Leah's affections for one another blossom into true love.