Inventing the Abbotts stars Kathy Baker, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, Liv Tyler, and Joanna Going. Billy Crudup and Joaquin Phoenix play brothers, J. C and Doug Holt, who deal with the murky past between their father and the Abbotts very differently. Billy Crudup sets out to seduce every one of the Abbotts' daugthers, of which there are three. Joaquin Phoenix as Doug Holt falls in love with the youngest Holt daughter, Pamela Abbott, played by Liv Tyler.
The movie deals with the idea of revenge and love. Joaquin Phoenix plays Doug Holt as a sensitive, bright, and caring young man who loves his older brother and is a bit in awe of him. Billy Crudup plays J. C. Holt as a sexually experienced young man who knows the way around a woman's mind and body. Kathy Baker plays Helen Holt, the mother of these two young men who does not hold a grudge against the Abbotts. Inventing the Abbotts is about the past and how it shapes the next generation.