In the opening scene, Patrick Hazlewood — played by a pale-faced and podgy Rupert Everett — alighted from an ambulance in front of Tom and Marion’s house.
Marion has moved Patrick into a hospital bed. The caretaker explains his partial paralysis and gives Marion instructions for administering his medication, advising that she refuses when he asks for cigarettes.
Tom refuses to speak with Patrick, who is visiting the house. What’s going on? In the 1950s, people were happier. Or so it seems in this story of a couple falling for each other.
They’ve made plans to meet at the swimming pool, where he’ll give her some lessons. Then they’ll go to a library so that he can expand his literary knowledge — she’s a teacher and he’s a policeman, so the attraction is mutual.
The art museum is the perfect place for Tom and Marion to meet Patrick, a man with broad intellectual horizons. Although she’s in love with Tom, there’s no denying that Marion shares many common interests with this guy — and who knows what might happen?
Because of something in the past, Patrick is pitting Tom against Marion. Tom poses for Patrick’s sketch, and the two men discover a mutual attraction and end up in bed together.
Marion discovers that Patrick has kept diaries for many years. She reads some of the old ones and uncovers his life when he was younger.