A once red-hot screenwriter, Steven Phillips (Albert Brooks) has just fallen from Hollywood grace -- where he was only the night before. Now released from his studio contract and with shattered confidence, he fears that his career is over. Seeking counsel from a good friend and enviably successful screenwriter, Jack Warrick (Jeff Bridges), Steven learns of Jacks' secret. Jack has a Muse -- one of the nine daughters of Zeus that inspires creativity -- that holds the secret of his success.
Hoping to capture some of the creative magic of the Muse, Steven convinces her to take him on as a client -- but not before detailing her very long list of needs. As Steven grudgingly agrees to the Muse's long list of demands and provides an endless array of perks, her influence begins to affect his life. Soon, Steven is realizing that his career and family will never be the same.