Treading Water is the 2001 dramatic film and the directorial debut of Lauren Himmel. The plot revolves around the issues raised when a lesbian couple returns home to her disapproving family. The main character is Casey, a long shore woman and boat restorer who lives with her girlfriend Alex who is a social worker. Casey moved away from her family awhile ago, as they did not support her at all. Now it's Christmas time and she must return home to the coast of New England to visit her judgemental family, along with Alex. Casey's mother refuses to accept Casey's sexuality and bans Alex from her home. Casey is not the only one with familial issues, as her two estranged brothers, Shawn and Andrew, are back home as well, after having drifted into guilt and isolation after the death of a family friend. Emotions unravel as Christmas presents are unwrapped and the whole family attempts to move forward.