Sabrina Fairchild (Julia Ormond), is the Larrabee chauffeur's daughter. Maude Larrabee (Nancy Marchand) inherited the business, her son Linus (Harrison Ford) runs the business, and her other son David (Greg Kinnear) is the family playboy. Sabrina spends her time watching David from afar, but he doesn't know who she is.
On the eve of her departure to Paris, Sabrina confesses her love, but to Linus by mistake. She goes to Paris to work at Vogue Magazine, and falls in love with the photographer, Louis (Patrick Bruel). She begins to mature and understand fashion as well as photography. In the meantime, David falls in love with Elizabeth Tyson (Lauren Holly), who is the daughter of Patrick Tyson (Richard Crenna). Linus sees this as a potential merger with Tyson Electronics.
When Sabrina hears of the pending nuptials, she realizes she is still in love with David. She returns home, more glamorous, and sees David. He is surprised and doesn't recognize her and invites her to a party. David becomes smitten with her, much to the chagrin of his family.
On the way to meet with Sabrina, David gets hurt, and Linus goes in his stead. They dance and talk, and Linus hatches a plan to get her away from David. Linus takes Sabrina to Martha's Vineyard, under the pretense of photographing a summer cottage that the Larrebee's own. They talk more, and Linus realizes she's bright and interesting. He begins to court her, and she is stuck between David and Linus.
Linus decides to take Sabrina to Paris to allow David to marry Elizabeth. Maude realizes he is planning to dump her after the merger, and Linus meets Sabrina. He feels guilty and confesses his plan. She decides to go to Paris, alone. Sabrina tells David, and he confronts Linus. Linus tells David he's willing to sacrifice the merger, and gives David a ticket for Paris.
The next day, David interrupts a meeting and tells Linus that he's staying with Elizabeth, and that Linus should go to Paris. Linus takes the Concorde and gets there before Sabrina. He tells her he loves her, and they embrace.