Carmine (Mark DeCarlo) is part of the mob in Philadelphia, hoping to soon be promoted to captain. While taking care of business, he and his team are photographed by the FBI performing illegal activities. After some discussion, Carmine decides to testify against his boss, then goes into the Witness Protection Program. His family is moved to Utah, in the heart of the Mormon Corridor.
The opening credits roll over a flying, nighttime stock footage shot of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
The dialogue begins at a wedding reception at the table of three mobsters. Carmine Pasquale (Mark DeCarlo) is complaining about the taste of the coffee. We find out later that Carmine has the nickname of "The Beans" because he orders a very special type of coffee bean that he grinds himself. When he sees a young man walk through the room, he and his team leaves the table, following the young man.
In a recent jewelry store robbery, two necklaces went missing. Carmine and his team are questioning the young man to find out what happened to the necklaces. Carmine tells his team to tie him up. Carmine goes to talk to the boss, Angello Marcello, where he finds out that someone else got the promotion to captain that he was hoping to get. When he gets back to the room, the young man has been duct taped, so the three mobsters have to carry him out to the car. This is when the FBI manages to get the incriminating photographs. When the mobsters make a stop to pick up the necklaces, the police close in and arrest them.
When Carmine is being interviewed, the FBI agents say that they have enough to put him away for twenty to twenty-five years. Carmine won't talk until the agents say that they will let it be known that Carmine did talk. The next scene is Carmine with his wife, Gina (Jeanette Puhich), and son, Vincent (Clayton Taylor) watching the news report of the conviction of Angello. They then get their new identities in the Witness Protection Program as George, Linda and Patrick Cheeseman to Happy Valley, Utah.
Meanwhile, in the neighborhood in to which the Cheesemans will be moving, the bishop of the local ward has to leave the church meeting because he was paged with a family emergency. His first counselor, Brother Jaymes, is left in charge of the meeting. By the time that the Jaymes family arrives at home, we find out that the bishop's father has died and the bishop will be in a distant community for a few weeks taking care of the funeral and deciding (with the rest of his family) on the disposition of the family farm.
What follows is culture shock, on both sides. When the neighborhood men attempt to help them move in, George (Carmine) thinks they're stealing their stuff so he punches one of them in the face. The next to visit the Cheesemans is the neighborhood busybody, who is on the phone the minute she leaves their house and turns most of the neighborhood (all Mormons) against the Cheesemans (Catholics). The next to visit is the Jaymes family, who befriends the Cheeseman family, inviting them to participate in ward activities. Throughout the film, the Jaymes family does manage to get a few more of the neighbors to befriend the Cheeseman family. The members of the Cheeseman family also becomes closer to each other, and begin attending the local Catholic church as a family.
But the mobsters have recently hired an IT guy. He has found that since Carmine's disappearance, there has only been one new home address ordering the special beans that Carmine likes. A team of two is sent to take care of Carmine. When they show up to verify that Carmine lives at the address, Carmine spots them and takes off on foot. There is a short car chase that ends with the FBI capturing the mobsters. The FBI uses an insider to leak that the team was captured before Carmine found out about them, knowing that another team will be sent. After leaving a dinner at the local ward, the Cheesemans get in their van and it blows up.
The next Sunday, it is revealed that the ward bishop is going to move to take care of his recently widowed mother and the family farm. Michael Jaymes is called by the stake president to become the next bishop of this ward. About half of the ward members vote against supporting Michael Jaymes as bishop. The stake president calls a special meeting of the ward (without the Jaymes family present) to find out why they will not support Jaymes as bishop. George (Carmine), having found out about them not supporting Jaymes, shows up at the meeting to speak on behalf of Michael Jaymes. Since he has revealed that he is alive, he and his family also go to visit the Jaymes family. The stake president stops by later and tells Michael Jaymes that he will be the bishop.
The movie's final scene takes place six months later, in a scrapbooking store at an "undisclosed location". Scrapbooking was so popular in Utah that Donald and May Clayton (aka Cheeseman, aka Pasquale) family have opened a scrapbooking store and run it along with their son Jordan. The Mormon missionaries are buying a book in the store, and Donald tells them that it is "on the house". Donald also invites them over for dinner, but no message. The movie ends with Donald telling the missionaries about his wife's cooking.Mark DeCarlo as Carmine "The Beans" Zindelli Pasquale (George Cheeseman)
Jeanette Puhich as Gina Pasquale (Linda Cheeseman)
Clayton Taylor as Vincent Pasquale (Patrick Cheeseman)
Scott Christopher as Michael Jaymes
Britani Bateman as Kate Jaymes
Olesya Rulin as Julie Jaymes
Jan Broberg Felt as Louise Means
John Moyer as Agent Tuttle
Michael Kagan as Angello Marcello
The film was made on a budget of $350,000 but only brought in $409,604 in total box office revenues. It was however, released to only a limited number of theaters throughout Utah, Arizona, and Idaho; an area predominately known among LDS circles as the Jello Belt. The film has found success across the board on DVD for both LDS and non-LDS audiences alike.
Britani Bateman, who plays Michael Jaymes' wife, was actually pregnant while filming this movie. Writer/director John E. Moyer wrote the part especially for Britani. When casting the film he learned of her pregnancy and reworked the script to have her character be pregnant as well.
Originally, director John E. Moyer was interested in having LDS actor Dave Nibley from The Best Two Years play Agent Tuttle, but Nibley's schedule conflicted with the filming. So Moyer stepped in to play the role of Agent Tuttle.