Set in Republican-era Shanghai, Gu Man Zhen works as an assistant in a factory, while Gu Man Lu works at a nightclub to support the family. Gu Man Zhen falls in love with the wealthy Shen Shi Jun, a young engineer who happens to be engaged.
Gu Man Lu marries the lustful Zhu Hong Cai, though is unable to prevent him from hankering after her younger sister. Gu Man Zhen and Shen Shi Jun meet again a decade later when both are married and try not to let societal expectations ruin their prospects for happiness.
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Eileen Chang.