Diane (Nicole Kidman) befriends her enigmatic and hairy neighbor Lionel (Robert Downey Jr.).
He takes her on nightly adventures to see the more lurid side of town. They come extremely close and it is obvious Diane is falling in love with him.
Consequently, Diane's marriage begins to break apart. At Diane's party Lionel tells her that he is going to die in a few months. Alan, her husband, catches them in this moment and suspects something is going on. Despite the fact that nothing has actually happened between Diane and Lionel, out of respect for her marriage Diane tells Alan she will "end the friendship". When she goes to end it Lionel instead asks her to help him shave all of his body hair (Think something akin to a bigfoot hair situation) off. After doing so they finally kiss and sleep together. He tells her he wanted her to be there when he dies.
In the morning she goes with him to the beach and he swims in to ocean and does not return. Afterwards all of his friends come over. He evidently planned it because there is a previous scene where he is sending invitations to all of his friends.
In the movie she never goes back home and her husband is disappointed. Thus the beginning of the photographer she became.