Three penniless artists become friends in modern-day Paris: Rodolfo, an Albanian painter with no visa, Marcel, a playwright and magazine editor with no publisher, and Schaunard, a post-modernist composer of execrable noise. Rodolfo falls in love with Mimi, a barmaid. The day he asks her to move in with him, he is deported. Six months later, he sneaks back to Paris, and Mimi leaves her new boyfriend to be with him. Conflicts arise, especially around their poverty, and soon Mimi and Rodolfo separate, as do Marcel and his Musette. The three men scrape together a meal to celebrate All Saints' Day, and Mimi arrives, ill. Can her friends bring her back to health? Can love rekindle?