When Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem) sees Fermina Daza (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) through a villa window, it is love at first sight. Though a man of modest means, Florentino's skill as a poet awakens a similar passion within Fermina. But Fermina's father disapproves of the affair and vows to keep the lovers apart. Fermina eventually marries an aristocratic doctor (Benjamin Bratt), and they move to Paris. Florentino, however, still loves Fermina and patiently waits for a chance to be with her again.