Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon) is a rising young public relations executive when he meets Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick), a pretty secretary, at a business party. Joe and Kirsten are both ambitious, and they are on the road to success when they fall in love and marry. Soon after, however, Joe coaxes Kirsten to begin drinking with him on a regular basis. Eventually, they are both dependent on alcohol. Their marriage deteriorates, and their lives spiral into disaster, as a result.