Sweeney(Anthony Newley) is a playwright on a career decline. He spends much of his time wheedling money and beer out of his artistic friend Moriarty(Isaac Hayes). One of his few highlights is weekly sex with his ex-wife Georgina(Stefanie Powers). She is remarried to a rich but vile construction developer (Henry Ramer), but Sweeney and Georgina are still in love.
Sweeney's escapades end with a fake kidnapping scam. This gets the attention of two inept police officers, played by John Candy and Lawrence Dane. These two end up dressed as garbage men in the chase scene finale; everything winds up with a happy ending.