In this comedy with dramatic overtones, Susan "Soosh" Teagarden (Moira Kelly) is an aspiring artist with plenty of emotional baggage. Her father Theo (Christopher Lloyd) is a famous painter; he's also an alcoholic who has never been able to express his affection for his daughter. Soosh's mother died when she was young, and she still cherishes her memory but also feels deep loss. These days, Soosh has trouble with men, her job at a clothing store, her art, and her landlord, after she's caught shoplifting. Looking for somewhere to stay, she goes to a nearby convent and tells them a sob story that moves the Mother Superior (Eileen Brennan) to take her in. Soosh discovers that Christian charity isn't the easy street she expected; she has to work alongside the sisters at the convent and follow their schedule, and Soosh isn't accustomed to rising at 5 a.m. and having to be in by 11 p.m. But the Mother Superior sees Soosh's paintings and realizes that she has a true gift; she encourages her in her art and tries to help her put the broken pieces of her life together. Along the way, Soosh also falls in love with Felix (Dylan Walsh), who happens to run the art supply store where she steals most of her supplies. Changing Habits also stars Shelley Duvall as a speechless nun and Teri Garr as one of Soosh's co-workers.