I feel I go through life like an American tourist, doing as many towns as possible, explains Jean, a camera man and aspiring film director. Handsome but self-centered and hedonistic, he has a complicated sex life. He is bisexual and HIV positive. During a casting session he meets Laura, a feisty eighteen years old. Captivated by her charm, Jean soon is pursuing her and she quickly falls in love with him. They start a passionate affair. At the same time, the restless Jean pursues a relationship with Samy, a young rugby player. Samy, who has emigrated with his mother and brother from Spain, is unemployed and equally troubled. He is straight and although living with his girlfriend, Marianne, he has not qualms about his homoerotic relationship with Jean, who has a big crush on him.
Jean and Laura relationship is complicated with his HIV status which initially he hides from her. Only after they have had sex, he tells her. At first, Laura is furious and her mother is equally livid. However, Laura is by then deeply in love with Jean. She not only continues the relationship but refuses to use condoms as Jean would have wanted.
Jean is also deeply troubled with accepting his disease. Drop your illusions. Learn from your disease suggests his friend Noria. But peaceful acceptance does not come easy for him. His life ricochets from one coupling to the next, trying to make sense of his situation. He is a damned rebel, which he defines as :" Someone marked by fate and with real dignity inside".
Laura has emotional problems of her own. At one point, she erupts at the owner of the dress shop where she works and loses her job. Her feelings reach a boiling point dealing with Jeans bisexuality that includes not only Jeans relationship with Samy but anonymous sex with multiple partners in dark cruising spots. In these worthless sex encounters, Jean release his self-destructive drive and finds refuge from the frustrations brought by his illness and his affairs with Laura and Samy.
As Samy acquires a taste for sadomasochism and violence, he turns to Jean. He moves in with him leaving Marianne, who angrily berates Jean. After a fight with racist skinheads Samy finally consummates his relationship with Jean and tells him that he loves him. Laura turns increasingly angry and desperate, disappointed in her relationship with Jean. "Help me to leave you!" is her pathetic cry. Jean is emotionally closed. After a night out of drinking and party Jean yells "I want to live," to his friends but mostly he seems unaware that he is dying. The next morning Laura finds him in bed not only with Samy but with his ex girlfriend. Laura throws a big tantrum and her emotions spring out of control. From then on, she leaves endless long messages in Jeans answering machine. In some, she begs for love in others she threatens to ruin his life.
Reaching her breaking point, Laura threats Jean with committing suicide and tells him that he has infected her with the aids virus. Only then Jean intervenes and with Lauras mother they find psychological help for her. Jean repeatedly fails to find meaning in his life. A conversation with his mother is only painful. Returning home, he is involved in car accident. He is as restless in his sex life as with HIV medication which he avoids when it interferes with his drinking and partying.
After sometime Jean looks again for Laura. He finally wants to tell her that he loves her, but she has overcome her turbulent relationship with him. Making peace with herself, Laure has a new boyfriend. Jean and Laura have a short conversation, they kiss tenderly and part ways. Jean finally finds peace with his HIV status and with his life.