The plight of an English couple struggling to raise a disabled child is given a darkly humorous treatment in this English comedy. Based on the successful stage play by Peter Nichols, the film centers on the parents of Jo, nicknamed "Joe Egg," a mentally challenged invalid subject to violent seizures. The couple (played by Alan Bates and Janet Suzman) attempts to maintain a stoic and occasionally cheerful facade in the face of their daughter's condition, but they find themselves unable to cope with the strain. Faced with the imminent collapse of their marriage, they eventually agree that euthanasia may be the answer to their troubles. Some viewers may consider the subject matter inappropriate for comedy, but the film mines its uneasy laughter not from the child's plight but from the eccentricities of the parents' reactions.