Writer Alex Sheldon (Luke Wilson) must finish his novel within a month. If he doesn't, he won't get paid. And, if that happens, angry Mafia types to whom he owes money will come looking for him. In order to expedite things, Alex hires typist Emma Dinsmore (Kate Hudson) and begins dictating his novel. The book is about a doomed love affair between a character similar to Alex and a character named Polina Delacroix (Sophie Marceau). But, as Alex falls for Emma, his work takes a different turn.