Artie Lewis (Michael Keaton) is an NYPD detective who believes in his work, loves his wife Rita (Rene Russo), and stands by his partner Stevie Diroma (Anthony LaPaglia). After a hard, violent day at work Artie and Stevie reassure each other that, though battered and bruised, they are "still alive". Stevie is a widower with three young daughters. He is killed in the line of duty by Mickey Garrett (David Barry Gray) during a hostage situation. Stevie's daughters Marian (Grace Johnston), Barbara (Rhea Silver-Smith), and Carol (Blair Swanson) are left orphans with no relatives to turn to.