What's Fred about? That's what Fred wants to know. Where does an unplugged, mildly unhinged, mid-life real estate agent go on a sabbatical?
Fred Bunsen, a real estate agent in the San Fernando Valley, is feeling unsettled about his settled life. He rebels at wearing a company blazer. Ordinary daily scenes appear bizarre. When his second wife Carol is taken hostage in the bank where she works, she emerges unscathed and composed, but Fred is unhinged. Sensible Carol insists Fred take time off, alone, and confront his malaise. Fred reluctantly leaves for a sabbatical, which quickly turns quirky, even for California. He meets Fletcher Allen Hatcher, an unlikely guru, who has discovered that non-motorized lawn mowing, conducted in particular patterns, provides certain men with a transcendent experience. Will Fred's sabbatical change his life?