Edward (Richard Gere) and Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) are a married couple living in the northern suburbs of New York City (in Westchester County, New York) with their eight-year-old son, Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan). Their relationship is loving, but familiar and lacking excitement. One afternoon, Connie goes shopping for Charlie's upcoming birthday party. She is caught in a heavy windstorm, and runs into a handsome stranger (Olivier Martinez). They both fall, and Connie scrapes her knees. He offers to treat her injuries in his Soho apartment, and she accepts. He introduces himself as Paul Martel, a 27-year-old book dealer. Paul makes small advances toward Connie, which makes her uncomfortable, and she decides to leave. Before doing so, Paul gives her a book of Persian poetry as a gift. After returning home, Connie tells Edward what happened, and he suggests they buy Paul a thank-you gift.