In 1962, Dr. Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken) locked himself and his pregnant wife Helen (Sissy Spacek) in a bomb shelter when he thought the country was under nuclear attack during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a fighter jet flies overhead and crashes into their house. Believing the worst, Webber activates the shelter locks on the doors, which are designed not to open for 30 years. Helen gives birth to a son they name Adam and they live peacefully, watching reruns on TV and remaining blissfully ignorant of what is happening in the world outside.
Finally, when the locks open, Adam (Brendan Fraser), now 35, leaves the shelter to get supplies and finds a world that has drastically changed. The neighborhood has become a ghetto with prostitutes, adult bookstores and graffiti-covered buildings. Adam discovers infomercials, the internet ... and Eve (Alicia Silverstone).