A fantastic painting of an erotic mermaid is taking the art world by storm. An introverted Chicago museum curator with abandonment issues and his mischievous bodyguard are sent by a billionaire widow to find the artist, gone missing off the coast of Mexico. But they are bumbling fools without a plan, lost in their own denatured masculinity, as they tangle with pirates, sea gypsies, oceanographers, and a deformed mad man intent on destroying the last of his kind.