An aging Hollywood star, Joe Scott, lives a life of narcissistic hedonism, observed by his laconic personal assistant, Ophelia. The death of his childhood best friend, Boots, takes our protagonist, and the movie, into an extended flashback to a sea-side town in 1970's Britain. Hollywood star Joe is now a teenage boy in a tentative relationship with a school-girl called Ruth. Further, his mother's friend, Evelyn, is attempting to seduce him. Engulfed by guilt at the unintended, tragic consequences of his subterfuge, he leaves home. The movie then switches back to contemporary Hollywood. Joe confronts his fear and returns to England for a difficult meeting with Ruth, who had gone on to marry Boots and has been a left a poor widow.