The real-life relationship between two of the most controversial literary figures of the 20th century forms the basis for this drama. Anaïs Nin (Maria de Medeiros) is a struggling author trying to finish her first book, a study of the work of D.H. Lawrence.
She also has a keen sexual curiosity that is not being satisfied by her sweet but unexciting husband, Hugo (Richard E. Grant).
Through Hugo's friend Richard (Kevin Spacey), Anaïs is introduced to Henry Miller (Fred Ward), a writer from America who shares Anaïs' passion for both eros and literature; she is later introduced to June (Uma Thurman), Henry's wife and a practicing bisexual.
While Anaïs is attracted to Henry, to her surprise, she's even more strongly drawn to June; June, however, must return to America, and with her approval, Henry and Anaïs begin an affair.
Anaïs' newfound sense of sexual liberation leads her to several new lovers over the next several months, but she and Henry find themselves pursuing the same object of affection when June returns to Paris.
Henry & June's frank but tasteful treatment of sexual themes led the MPAA to threaten the film with an X-rating; instead, the film became the first feature released with the revised NC-17 classification.