The film is a mixture of reality and fiction. Meryl Streep plays the living author Susan Orlean, whose novel "The Orchid Thief" is to be adapted into a film. Her story is about John Laroche, who deals in rare plants. He clones orchids and sells them to collectors. Charlie Kaufman is given the task of rewriting the book into a film script - a task that causes him more trouble than usual. His twin brother Donald is also a writer, but has a different and relaxed attitude to writing.