Several months after returning from a trip to Europe with his wife, a poet has a near-fatal stroke. While he lies in a coma, a colleague presents the poet's wife with a novella the poet had been secretly writing at the time of his accident. The manuscript narrates their European sojourn, and suggests that the poet has been carrying on an affair, by mail, with a woman they both met in Paris. But all is not what it seems. Psychologically, this is fascinating territory, although the often unsignaled time and character shifts will be confusing for those unfamiliar with the brilliant novel on which this film is based. Those who are familiar with the novel will find it interesting to observe the way Scott and Hughes reconfigure the material for a different medium - but it loses a lot of its force because you know the delightful twist from the beginning. Read the novel first. It's magnificent. You'll then find both it and this film more enjoyable.
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