Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is an actor. When he is shooting a film, he is all over the place - press interviews, photo shoots, parties, etc. When he is in between shoots, he drinks heavily, has strippers do pole dancing, and drives his Ferrari to the highest speed it will go. He lives in a high priced hotel. In other words he is going nowhere fast.
One day his ex drops off his daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning). Just for the evening, but he has to take her to her ice skating practice, in other words he has to do the father thing. They have dinner and talk and it looks like she is having an effect even in a small way on Johnny.
Now the ex wants to have some time to her self. It's not like Cleo is a bad girl or something she's just a pre-teen, with all that goes with that age. Johnny is starting to realize what he has been missing. Problems arise when his old lifestyle interferes with him being a father. You can't drink bottles at a time and expect to be coherent enough to function. You can't have strippers coming to the house at all hours and expect to explain that one to a twelve year old.
Johnny Marco is at a crossroads in his life and decisions must be made. Follow the movie and see where he decides to take his new life as a father or continue as a drunken high paid actor bum
Director Sophia Coppola does an adequate job with this movie in the beginning but it is when the ending comes that she really hits the home run. It's slow moving at first. You really want to take a walk but by the middle your saying to yourself this isn't half bad. So sit back and enjoy.