40 years ago, Alex Carver (Morgan Freeman) was an artist, and his wife Ruth (Diane Keaton) was a school teacher. That was in the days when interracial marriages were still generally unaccepted. But love helps overcome those challenges. Together they bought an apartment in Brooklyn and fixed it up.
Now, after 40 years, they still live in the same apartment. They never had children. Alex kept on painting, showing his art in galleries, but never breaking through to the big time. Ruth is now retired. They live a quiet life with their dog Dorothy in their apartment which seems to them like it’s the only home they ever had.
The neighborhood is now gentrified and the place is worth a million dollars. Alex laments that his life’s work is worth less than the room is was created in. But the apartment is 5 Flights Up, and there is no elevator. Climbing those stairs is starting to get difficult for them. It’s a house for young people. They decide to put their place on the market and find a nice, smaller place, with an elevator. Their niece Lily (Cynthia Nixon) is a real estate agent, and she takes on the listing.
Suddenly, things start moving very fast for the couple that is just ready to slow down. New York City’s cutthroat real estate market puts them into a frenzy.
They question their motives and the source of their happiness and try to find focus and solace in what really matters.