Set in working class Liverpool, Rita is a hairdresser. She’s full of fun and wit - a bit of a free spirit - and is married to Denny. But Denny wants a baby and Rita isn’t ready for all that, she wants to discover herself first before settling down. She wants the education she never had and desperately seeks to improve her life. Denny’s a nice guy, but he’s going nowhere, and Rita can see herself becoming a stifled housewife if she remains with him. She sees how her friends and the people around her have ended up, and she doesn’t want that. So she takes a leap and joins the Open University. There she meets Dr Frank Bryant, a disillusioned university professor of literature. He’s burnt out. His marriage has just ended and his girlfriend’s having an affair with his best friend. All of this has caused his drinking of whisky to get near out of hand. He’s lost his self confidence and is lacking in esteem. He thinks he’s an appalling teacher and his students aren’t any better. Frank needs a challenge, and he finds this in Rita. They end up finding a new lease of life through each other. Rita gives Frank the courage to believe in himself again as she goes on a journey of self-discovery.