A drama based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. A businessman bets his life on a horse race; a gangster sees the future; a pop star falls prey to a crime boss; a doctor must save the love of his life.


Jieho Lee


Jieho Lee, Bob DeRosa





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... Love
Julie Delpy ... Gina
Brendan Fraser ... Pleasure
Andy Garcia ... Fingers
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Sorrow
Clark Gregg ... Henry
Emile Hirsch ... Tony
Forest Whitaker ... Happiness
Kelly Hu ... Jiyoung
Evan Parke ... Danny
Taylor Nichols ... Sorrow's Father
Victor Rivers ... Eddie
Cecilia Suárez ... Allison
Todd Stashwick ... Frank
Jon Bernthal ... Interviewer


A frustrated and clumsy bank clerk overhears the conversation of three coworkers in the toilet about a fix in a horse race, and bets a large amount. He loses the bet and owes the money to the dangerous and powerful mobster Fingers. A gangster who works for Fingers has the ability of foreseeing pieces of the future; he is assigned to collect money for the boss, with his troublemaker nephew Tony, and is beaten up by a gang. The manager of pop-star Trista loses her contract to Fingers without her agreement and she is threatened by the gangster. A dedicated doctor seeks a blood donor that might have a rare blood type to save the life of his secret and unrequited passion, a beautiful epidemiologist who's married to a friend. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Fingers and Love never interact with each other. See more »


When "Fingers" shoots "Pleasure" in his apartment and and they show a close up on the ejected brass hitting the carpet, it is obvious that the brass is from a blank. It has the "crimped" end on it where it was sealed. See more »


[first lines]
Happiness: I always wondered, when a butterfly leaves the safety of its cocoon, does it realize how beautiful it has become? Or does it still just see itself as a caterpillar?
See more »


Features Voyager (1991) See more »


Written by Hiroko Hayata and Ken Sasaki
Performed by Hiroko Hayata, Kris Thomas and Ken Sasaki
Courtesy of Hiroko Hayata
See more »

User Reviews

Sometimes risking everything is the only choice you have.
9 December 2008 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

An incredible little film that shows just how we are all interconnected and part of the universe. When one's wings flutter, it affects all around us, and in ways that can sometimes be very surprising.

The emotions expressed in the film are all emotions that help us understand how we are interconnected. With the exception of Brandon Fraser and Andy Garcia, all the roles in the film were confined to a particular segment. There were some very good actors in small parts in the film.

Fraser was fantastic in a very unemotional role. His first attempts at showing any emotion cost him his life, just as Forest Whitaker's attempt at happiness cost him his.

I really like Whitaker's musing that happiness comes from playing by the rules and doing well in school. The reward for doing well in school is more school and more school, and then you can get a job and start wanting things. Do any of us every attain happiness? Or, as Whitaker, are we stuck in some dead-end job wanting? Kevin Bacon showed how one risks it all for love and gave a superb performance. I just kept wishing that Sorrow (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was that little girl from his past. I bet she was and they just didn't tell us.

A very pleasurable hour and a half.

8 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 106 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »



USA | Mexico


English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 October 2008 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Air I Breathe See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,487, 27 January 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed