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coverThis film can be interpreted as seven consecutive days, which may or may not be the case. It follows the day to day life of an Italian journalist, Marcello.

Marcello lusts after many women including Emma his troubled fiancee and Sylvia a charismatic film star whom he meets on an assignment. Other friends of his would be Steiner his intellectual companion and Paparazzo, a photographer. Paparazzo, Marcello, and Emma drive out to report on two children's sightings of the Madonna. A huge crowd has gathered to follow the children and listen to their story in hopes of being blessed by the Madonna. Emma prays to her for the love of Marcello. Once back to Rome, Marcello and Emma go to Steiner's place where Emma admires his home and family life. The next day, Marcello goes to a resturant along the beach where he meets a young girl named Paola and becomes friendly with her. When he returns home, he finds his father has come to visit and takes him out to the Cha-Cha-Cha Club where his father meets a woman and goes home with her. Marcello visits with some friends where he stumbles across his friend Maddalena to whom he professes his love for in a separate room, unaware that she is with another man. When he is driving with Emma the next night they get into an argument which results in Marcello leaving her on the side of the road. He changes his mind after a little while and turns around to pick her up and drive her home. While they're laying in bed, Marcello receives a phone call. He goes over to Steiner's to discover that he has killed his two children and himself. Marcello waits with the police to break the news to Steiner's wife. The next night, Marcello and his friends break into another friends house to have a party. The party carries onto the morning where the group goes to the beach and sees a huge sea creature that had been caught in fisherman nets. Paola is seen on the other side of an estuary trying to talk to Marcello, but neither of them can hear each other so he walks away. The film ends on her face smiling.


This film shows Marcello's pursue of happiness and love, which will never happen for him.