|Mandarin||Yī shēng tànxi|
|Directed by||Feng Xiaogang|
|Produced by||Wang Zhongjun|
|Written by||Wang Shuo|
|Music by||Zhao Jiping|
|Edited by||Zhou Ying|
Liang Yazhou (Zhang) is a successful, middle-aged TV screenwriter from Beijing. While in Hainan working on a new script, Liu Dawei (Fu) assigns young and beautiful Li Xiaodan (Liu) to him as an assistant. Yazhou and Xiaodan are mutually attracted to each other, but Yazhou is already married to Song Xiaoying (Xu), with whom he has a daughter. To break off the connection, he changes his plans and returns to Beijing. However, as soon as Yazhou and Xiaoying return to Beijing, they begin having an affair.
When Xiaoying finds out about Yazhou's affair, she is furious and initially demands a divorce. Relations between Yazhou and Xiaoying become extremely strained. They separate, and Xiaoying eventually accepts Yazhou's affair for the sake of their young daughter Yueyue. Despite Xiaoying's tolerance, Yazhou remains caught between the two women, on one hand being spoiled by Xiaodan and, on the other, being an attentive father in front of Xiaoying and Yueyue. Even with Xiaodan demanding marriage, Yazhou finds himself unable to divorce his wife, due to the harmful impact their separation has already had on Yueyue.
Xiaoying immerses herself in renovating the home she and Yazhou purchased before their fall out. When she injures her back after falling off a ladder, Yazhou is forced to leave Xiaodan to care for Xiaoying. He finally comes to appreciate how much his wife did for him - cooking, cleaning, taking care of their daughter, attending to his needs - so that he could write without distraction. During this time, Yazhou and Xiaodan rarely see each other, and Yazhou and Xiaoying appear to have fully repaired their relationship.
On Yazhou's 42nd birthday, Xiaodan goes to his home with a gift, only to be spotted by Xiaoying. Xiaoying insists that she come inside, saying that they should temporarily put aside their hostility, and celebrate Yazhou's birthday. She reminisces about her relationship with her husband, telling Xiaodan about how they met and fell in love. After this visit, Yazhou and Xiaodan end their affair.
The film ends with Yazhou and his family happily playing on a beach in Hainan. He receives a mysterious phone call. The last shot is of his surprised face when he turns around and presumably sees someone.