Gil (Owen Wilson) is a writer and optimist who vacations in Paris with his fiance (Rachel McAdams). He is in love with the idea of living in 1920's Paris during the Bohemian explosion of artistic expression in the city, when the likes of Hemingway, Picasso, and Toulouse Latrec were household names in their respective fields. Walking the streets of Paris one night, he is transported into the very time period he so desires to be a part of. He hobnobs with famous literary and artistic figures who he asks for advice regarding his new book. As he travels back and forth into present day and the 20's, his affections grow strong for a French woman (Marion Cotillard) who like him shares his optimism and honesty.