Stealing Time follows the story of Maya, a woman stuck between the past and the future wondering which way is home. After discovering her Wall Street husband has been unfaithful, Maya wonders where it all went wrong. Lost in her big life and years away from the writing career she once had in her grasp, Maya tries to put herself back together.
That’s when Maya meets Ben, a professional photographer, whose own metamorphosis catalyzes Maya's own overwhelming desire to pursue the life she never had. They begin a collaboration, where Maya ultimately discovers the woman inside that got lost somewhere along the way.
Maya is a 42 year-old former writer-turned-trophy-wife. Having grown up poor in the Midwest, Maya now lives in a penthouse apartment in NYC with her Wall Street husband, Thomas, and her teenage daughter, Sarah. She has grown accustomed to her daily routine of working out, shopping and liquid lunches and battles daily with her husband’s past infidelity.
Thomas, Maya's husband, is an obsessive-compulsive 42 year-old investment banker at one of the top firms in the country. He is stout, clean-cut and would wear a suit to the gym if he could. He works 12-hour days to provide the life for his family that he never had and never misses a chance to get a “happy ending.”
Sarah, daughter of Maya and Thomas, is a street-wise 14 year-old New York City kid. She is precocious, self-righteous, and thinks the world of her father. She is hyper-focused on getting into the right college and, like most teenagers, struggles with doing what she wants versus what she should.
Radha is a divorced gynecologist who has been Maya’s best friend since childhood. She is hardened, perpetually single and uses men before they can use her, but secretly covets Maya’s domestic life.
Ben is a 43 year-old successful fashion photographer. Estranged from his wife, Grace, Ben has been trying to reinvent himself as the artist he once was.
Faced with having to throw a party for her fourteenth wedding anniversary, Maya is reminded of her husband’s past infidelity. Though it’s been a year since Thomas cheated, Maya is still fixated on the event that shifted her life forever. Thomas is trying to change through Tony Robbins’ seminars as his way to salvation. In return, Maya bites her tongue, puts on a smile and does her best to perpetuate a normal life for her daughter Sarah. Still, the party is looming and Maya realizes there is no last-minute gift in the world that can satisfy a man who has it all. Maya becomes even more conflicted when Thomas presents her with his ultimate anniversary gift; breast implants.
Maya calms her fraying nerves by sneaking a cigarette in the park, where she catches Ben, a neurotic stranger taking her picture. Though he is a well-known L.A. fashion photographer, Ben is focusing on more artistic projects. Maya confronts Ben as to why he is sneaking pictures of her and Ben tells her she looked sad and he heard “help me.” The voices in his head don’t help to abate Maya’s feeling that he is some crazy creep, but she persists in finishing her cigarette. Finally telling him her name, Maya pops a mint to cover up the smoke and goes back to the party. Back at the anniversary party, Thomas declares his love for Maya over a toast, to which she returns his salutation with the only gift she has to give; forgiveness.
On the way to the plastic surgeon’s office, Maya contemplates not going through with the operation, but her best friend, Radha, convinces her otherwise. It is, after all, what men want, not to mention how beneficial it would be for her marriage. After assuaging Maya’s fears, Radha leaves her to it. Right before she goes in to the surgeon’s office for her consultation, Ben runs into her again. Maya is now convinced he is stalking her, but after revealing he is working out of the Guggenheim, the two begin a conversation about France and Maya softens a bit. Ben then shows Maya the photograph he took of her in the park and Maya is blown away. She gets it now. Ben offers to take more pictures of her and Maya takes his card. After Ben tells her she doesn’t need a plastic surgeon, Maya contemplates not opening the door to the surgeon’s office and, after dreaming of a life she could have if she did just walk away, she does.
Feeling like everything is finally going well in his marriage, Thomas surprises Maya with a hip hop Halloween costume that is guaranteed to show off Maya’s new breasts. Maya then reveals she has decided to not get them after all. After trying to convince her with vapid Tony Robbins quotes, Maya insists he love her the way she is. Though Thomas thought he was doing everything right, he realizes once again he screwed up. The problem is he just doesn’t know how or why he screwed up. He doesn’t “get it!” After apologizing to Maya, though he doesn’t really know why, Sarah is overheard rehearsing for her Romeo and Juliet audition. Maya reveals that Sarah is going to audition for the play, which causes a big argument between her and Thomas since he thought it was decided that Sarah would do fencing…just like he did. Sarah overhears their argument and firmly states that she is the one good kid among a school of deviants. She is the exception!
Sarah confronts Maya about her father and wonders why her mother married him in the first place. During a flashback to the day Maya discovered Thomas had cheated on her, Maya is reminded how devastated she was and, more so, how she still can’t forget. Once again angry by her recall, Maya insists Sarah follow her passion regardless of what Thomas thinks.
Newly empowered, Maya decides to Google Ben Brownstein and discovers he is a lot more interesting than she originally thought, especially his photography project which captures the “space between” the frames of two moments in time. After a frantic voicemail message, Radha meets Maya at a bar. Maya announces that the only way she can move forward in her life is to literally even the score with Thomas by having an affair of her own since her prenuptial agreement would leave her with nothing in a divorce. Radha is supportive and even gives her some helpful tips.
Maya reaches out to Ben and agrees to be his photographic subject in exchange for Ben being her hero. It’s a strange request, but after all, she was a writer! They meet up in secret, which leads them to discover the possibility of a different future, one where they would be happy with each other instead of their spouses. With creativity flowing, Maya starts writing again, all the while living out her ideal love story with Ben. They grow closer and, despite Radha’s warning to keep love out of the equation, Maya and Ben can’t help themselves.
While Ben and Maya forge forward with their emotional affair, Maya’s home life begins to deteriorate. Sarah gets the lead in Romeo and Juliet, but doesn’t tell her disapproving father and, since Maya is spending most of her time with Ben, Sarah ends up facing her biggest challenge alone. Realizing that Maya is gone most of the day and preoccupied even when she is at home at night, Thomas begins to suspect she is cheating on him. After sneaking on to her computer, Thomas discovers Maya’s “journal” in which she reveals her love for Ben. Though Maya denies her involvement with Ben and plays it off as fictional, Thomas is disturbingly satisfied that his own wife is as bad as him. Now they’re even! Still, Thomas insists Maya cut it off with Ben or he will divorce her and leave her with nothing.
Ben pleads with Maya to choose him over Thomas, but Maya is no longer willing to take that chance. Given that Ben won’t divorce his estranged wife, Maya decides the risk to her own stability and her daughter is just not worth it. With Ben out of the picture, Maya tries to put her life back on track; the way it used to be when she would just smile and pretend everything was okay. Sarah, however, isn’t buying it.
Now faced with having to do the school play in secret, Sarah asks Maya about love, intimating that Romeo and Juliet’s love is the only true kind, which in the end, was worth it. It’s always worth it. This insight from her teenage daughter is all Maya needs to virtually wake up and reclaim her life. Dedicated to finding her way out of being lost in her marriage, Maya decides to reclaim the love she and Thomas had before Wall Street and the penthouse apartment. However, Maya discovers the panties she found in Thomas’ drawer were actually Radha’s and, without hesitation, Maya leaves Thomas for good.
After completing her first novel, Maya is published and her book Stealing Time, the story of a woman stuck in the “space between,” has become a New York Times Best Seller. While signing copies at a local bookstore, Maya looks up to find Ben asking for her autograph and wondering why she never called. Maya suggests that no reality could be better than fiction, but…she still has his card.