Mickey Rourke plays Henry Chinaski, a poet and alcoholic. He spends his life in bars in Los Angeles, drinking every night. One day he meets Wanda, also a alcoholic and falls in love with her. Wanda is not like his former girlfriends, one is still able to see the beauty she once was before she started to drink. Together they meet Tully Sorenson, who wants to publish some of Henry's poems. For a short time he becomes famous but in the end it is clear that Henry and Wanda have only one goal in life: drinking to forget the lousy life they live outside the bars of Los Angeles.