The primary story with this movie is that it is shown in four simultaneously filmed ninety-three minute single shot takes (in other words, shown in four quadrants), with the actual plot secondary. The four cameras follow the players involved, with two or more of the four cameras sometimes filming the exact same scene from different angles and thus different perspectives. The audio on each of the four quadrants is turned up and down based on which quadrant(s) the viewer should pay most attention to at any given time. The actual plot, which takes place in Hollywood, involves the pre-production by Red Mullet Productions for the movie "Bitch from Louisiana". The production team is in an executive meeting to discuss several aspects of the movie, including problems with one of their own, Alex Green, who has been missing in action from much of the production and this meeting. Alex's problems stem from his substance abuse and philandering, his wife Emma who is contemplating leaving him, of which he is unaware. Lester Moore, the movie's director, is also causing the producers some concern as they believe he again is using drugs against company policy. The production team is also talking about casting the role of "The Bitch". One actress who wants to audition is Rose, who is having an affair with Alex as a foot in the door. Rose does not officially have an audition, although she tells her controlling lover, Lauren, that's why she is going to Red Mullet's office, while she really is meeting with Alex for a tryst. Lauren, however, believes that Rose is indeed cheating on her. Through it all, Quentin, a masseuse, is present giving free massages as a means to gain Red Mullet as a corporate client. Their goings-on come to a head during a pitch meeting by visiting European actress, Ana Pauls, who is accompanied by her agent, Bunny Drysdale, and her musician boyfriend, Joey Z.
L.A., real time. From her limo, the wealthy Lauren eavesdrops on her lover Rose's tryst with movie producer Alex Green. The assignation takes place in his company's screening room between meetings. Alex's wife walks from therapy to his office, tells him she's leaving him, weeps in a bookstore restroom, and walks home with a cocaine-sniffing actress friend for what may lead to sex. Alex is drinking, wants to quit work and move to Tuscany, laughs at pretentious movie pitches, and puts off Rose when she asks for an audition. A film director sees Rose and decides she's perfect for his next picture; she takes a screen test. She's ecstatic and calls Lauren: jealousy takes over.
Four frames of simultaneous action that alternately follow a smitten lesbian lover as she obsesses over her partner's dalliances and the tense goings-on of a Hollywood film production company.
- We begin simultaneously with a screen showing 4 different stories that will converge during the film. Lauren Hathaway (Jeanne Tripplehorn) clandestinely flattens the tire of the car belonging to actress Rose (Salma Hayek) her lover. Lauren is suspicious of her faithfulness and plants a secret microphone on Rose so she can overhear her conversations when they are apart. Rose is eager to get to the casting sessions for a new film, being directed by Lester Moore (Richard Edson). Alex Green (Stellan Skarsgard), the studio executive overseeing Moores project, has problems of his own connected to his wife Emma (Saffron Burrows), who is discussing her relationship problems with her Therapist played by Glenne Headly. Alex also has a substance-abuse problem and this negatively affects his ability to perform executive decisions and his sexual involvement with Rose compromises his marriage and his career. At the studio a local spa has sent over Quentin (Julian Sands), a Latin-speaking masseuse to give everyone back rubs during their business conferences. Rose has come to the studio to meet up with Alex as part of a seduction to obtain a favorable introduction and audition for the current film being cast. The story also spins out the day of producer Evan Watz (Xander Berkeley) and his relationship with Alex and the other executives of the film company and attempts to push forward in spite of Alexs obvious problems. When Scott "Bunny" Drysdale (Kyle MacLachlan) brings in his client, Euro filmmaker Ana Pauls (Mia Maestro), an artist with ideas to pitch a new project to the executive group with the assistance of white rap musician Joey Z (Alessandro Nivola), the film clearly moves into the realm of screwball comedy, but with a pacing and delivery of some very bitter-sweet reality show. During this slice of the work day a variety of actions disrupt the actions including drug and alcohol consumption, fornication physical abuse and a few earthquakes to further shake things up as well as the actual camera work.