Anne (Toni Collette) and Bob (Harvey Keitel) are a wealthy American couple who have taken up residence in Paris in an effort to bring new life to their marriage. One day, when they are about to throw a dinner party, Bob's son, Steven, from his previous marriage, comes to visit, and his father asks him to their dinner party. Anne, distraught over the idea of "bad luck" of seating 13 for dinner, forces her Spanish maid, Maria (Rossy de Palma), to fill out the table to 14.
Maria is very class-conscious, and does not want to do it, but Anne insists. And then she commits the terrible faux-paus of actually engaging in conversation during the dinner, and catching the interest of an art dealer named David Morgan (Michael Smiley), who falls for her. So they begin a beautiful romance, where he does not care that she is "just" a maid.
But once Anne finds out about it, her own insecurities come flooding out, and she becomes determined to stop the relationship -- despite the fact that her own marriage has problems, she has an affair of her own, and her husband is starting an affair. Those who live in glass houses, and whatnot... but Anne is too insecure about her own place in the world to be happy for her maid's newfound love and happiness.
One might say that this film all too accurately reflects life: that alas, the happy ending is not always there; that people can be far too judgmental and shallow; and that you don't always get what you want -- sometimes, life is tragic and unfair because of the scheming of others.
Rossy de Palma is a delight. I have loved her acting for many years, since seeing her in Pedro Almodóvar's films -- and I truly wanted to see her character, Maria, be able to triumph over Anne's scheming; but alas, that is not what this film had in mind. So I enjoyed most of this film, until the end "twist", and then I was so annoyed at the ending (plus Bob hooking up with a girl probably 50 years his younger - ughhh!), such a disappointment.