The film The Lover takes place in French-colonized Indochina. In 1929, a fifteen-year-old French girl lives there. Her family is having financial problems and, on her way, back to her boarding school she is noticed by a wealthy Chinese businessman. He offers her a ride into town and the contrast with the family's life is great when she gets into the back of his large luxury car with a private driver. All their meetings take place in secret. But is their passion enough to overcome their different racial and class affiliations?