A formidable retired woman, Lily Harrison (Gena Rowlands) hires an acerbic dance instructor, Michael Minetti (Cheyenne Jackson) to give her private dance lessons —one per week for six weeks— in her gulf-front condo in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.
What begins as an incompatible relationship blossoms into an intimate friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears, and joys while dancing the Swing, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and Contemporary Dance. By the final lesson, Lily shares her most closely guarded secret and he shares his greatest gifts, his loyalty and compassion.
“A Short History of Decay” tells the story of Nathan Fisher, a thirty-something Brooklyn “hipster” (Greenberg) whose writing career is stalled, much to the chagrin of his ambitious live-in girlfriend, Erika (Chriqui). When she unceremoniously dumps him, Nathan retreats into a depressive funk, not knowing where to turn– finish the novel? work on the play?– when he gets a call from his brother in Florida telling him his father has been hospitalized. Racing down to “snowbird” central, Nathan finds his father (Yulin) on the mend (albeit grumpy), and his normally addled mother (Lavin) a bit hazier than usual. His quick visit turns into an extended stay during which he discovers that his aging parents are actually in much better control of their lives than he is. He also meets a woman (Perkins)–his mother’s manicurist, no less– who is the polar opposite of Erika, but who may just be exactly what Nathan needs.