A blues guitarist, abandoned by his wife, tries to redeem the soul of a girl addicted to sex in a rural town. There was a time when Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) played the blues; a time he got Bojo's Juke Joint shakin' back in the day. Now he lives them. Bitter and broken from a cheating wife and a shattered marriage, Lazarus' soul is lost in spent dreams and betrayal's contempt…Until Rae (Christina Ricci).
Half naked and beaten unconscious, Rae is left for dead on the side of the road when Lazarus discovers her. The God-fearing, middle-aged black man quickly learns that the young white woman he's nursing back to health is none other than the town tramp from the small Tennessee town where they live. Worse, she has a peculiar anxiety disorder. He realizes when the fever hits, Rae's affliction has more to do with love lost than any found. Abused as a child and abandoned by her mother, Rae is used by just about every man in the phone book. She tethers her only hope to Ronnie (Justin Timberlake), but escape to a better life is short-lived when Ronnie ships off for boot camp. Desperation kicks in, as a drug-induced Rae reverts to surviving the only way she knows how, by giving any man what he wants to get what she needs…Until Lazarus.
Refusing to know her in the biblical sense, Lazarus decides to cure Rae of her wicked ways – and vent some unresolved male vengeance of his own. He chains her to his radiator, justifying his unorthodox methods with quoted scripture. Preacher R.L. (John Cothran) intervenes, but it is Lazarus and Rae who redeem themselves. Unleashing Rae emotionally, Lazarus unchains his heart, finding love again in Angela (S. Epatha Merkerson). By saving Rae, he frees himself.