Short version: Struggling writer becomes male escort.
Long version (don't read if you don't want to know the whole movie):
A man is standing in a bookstore next to the bargain bin. He is looking at some books when a woman comes up to the bargain bin. He starts talking to her and asks her if she read a particular book, "Hitler's Child." She says that she didn't read it (and perhaps makes some comment about how it sounded bad) and then she picked up the book. She turns it over, and his picture is on the back. She asks him to sign the book, he gets a little happy, signs it, then leaves. Then the lady throws the book back into the bargin bin.
The man goes home to his wonderful wife and cute little kid. He tells his wife about how he got someone to buy his book then complains about how his only work ever published is sitting in the bargain bin. They are struggling, but he will have an interview with an editor soon to see if he can get his next book on migrant workers published.
He has the interview about his book. The editor tells him that it's crap. He's sad and goes to a bar to drink, complaining to the bar tender about his life. Some man is listening to his sob story. Then he meets this man who happens to work in his building across the hallway from him. The door of that office says "Elysian Fields." They talk for a while and the man from Elysian Fields gives him his card saying that if he ever needs anything, he might be able to help him.
The poor sad writer goes home. His wife is all excited saying, "they're going to publish the book, right?" He tells her yes, they will publish the book, not wanting to disappoint his lovely wife.
He goes to talk to his old boss to ask for his job back. The old boss blew him off because apparently he did not quit respectfully. Then the wife asks him to ask her dad for money. He doesn't get along well with the dad, but he asks him anyway. The dad blows him off too. Then he goes to see the man from Elysian Fields.
He walks into the office, which is not much of an office (at least that was his observation). A secretary of sorts is there and she tells him that the man is not in. He leaves. Later the man finds him in a bar and he says, let's talk. Then he finds out that the man is running a male escort service for rich women. He is taken by surprise, and says "but I'm married." The man from Elysian Fields tells him that many of his employees are married, it helps to keep it more professional. So he says that he'll give it a shot as long as he doesn't have to do anything dirty, but can just take them to a play or something.
He is going to his first day on the job, telling the wife that he is meeting with some writers group. He gets a client, a young, innocent, and pretty lady who happens to be the wife of a Pulitzer Prize winner. They meet and go to a play. After the play, she has him buy her some cake from a stand and then she gets picked up by her driver, asking him if it's ok for him to take a taxi home. She leaves and he is happy he didn't have to do anything dirty.
He has to see her again. This time they go see some "modern dance" which involves people walking on their feet and hands, bent over at the waist, with their heads bobbing between their arms and legs. It is very bizzare. Then they get to the street and the driver arrives. This time she wants him to come with her. He reluctantly gets in the car and they go to her house. Once at the house, they talk for a while. She tells him her husband is a writer and he tells her that he's a writer too. Then she touches his face and arm.
Then they are having sex under the covers in her bed and her husband walks in! He hides under the covers and she looks calmly at her husband, asking him if he would like to meet her bedmate, saying that he's a writer too. She tries to coax him out from under the covers and finally he pokes his head out and sees the husband. The husband is not mad, but he leaves so they can continue with business. The lady tells him that her husband loves her very much, but because of his old age, they are not as close physically as they used to be. So they have an aggreement that allows her to be happy.
Eventually the wife tells him about her husband's new book. She wants him to read it because she thinks it is crap and doesn't have the heart to tell him. He reads it and he knows that it's crap. She wants him to tell her husband so that he doesn't make the mistake of thinking it's good, getting it published, and ruining his reputation as a great writer. So he tells the husband and the husband punches him in the face. Then he gives the husband some ideas, like maybe incorporating migrant workers into the story. The husband wants him to work on the book with him and their names would be printed side-by-side on the cover. That could be very good for the poor struggling writer, to have his name next to the book of a Pulitzer Prize winner. So they work on the book together. He ends up doing most of the work, saving the ass of this famous writer. All the while, he is still screwing the wife for money. By the way, he is telling his own wife that he is gone so much because he is working on this book with this famous writer, which is partially true.
Eventually the book is finished and it's very good. The lady tells him that they aren't going to publish until after he dies, however. She says not to worry because his health is failing. She doesn't want the book published yet, cause it would be better for his name if he got one last book published after he died. He's kind of disappointed, but that's the way it goes.
Meanwhile, the main character's wife finds the business card for Elysian Fields in one of his pockets.
Eventually the famous writer dies. So the lady has a conversation with him, telling him that she wasn't aware of any agreement that he made with her husband. She isn't going to put his name on the book. She says it would ruin his reputation if people knew someone helped him write the book. He leaves and never sees her again. Then he goes home to his wife. His wife is pissed off cause she knows his dirty secret and she leaves him, taking their son. The famous writer's book is published and does very, very well. He gets nothing out of it.
So there he is with no wife, no kid, and no book. He starts working in a pizza place as a waiter. She sees him there, but they don't make up. Now the writer is so sad and depressed that he actually has something good to write about. So he writes a story about a failing marriage. It does very well. His wife comes by to get the book signed and she says to him, "why didn't you tell me?" He replied, "I'm a writer." So they walk away together, but not closely. They are standing rather far apart as they walk away together. Then the movie ends.
Also somewhere in the movie is a tiny subplot about the man from Elysian Fields. He used to be an escort before he was running the whole show. He maintained only 1 client after all those years. He fell in love with her and asked her to marry him, and she laughed at him, saying that he must be kidding. So he decides to get out of the business. The main character tells him, "I thought you said many of your clients are married." He replies, "I didn't say happily."
KimEspinoza thought this was an interesting movie. She thinks it's strange that she remembers so much of it.