Eddie, a drifting rodeo rider, turns up at a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert. Here he finds May, the sultry lover who ran out on him when she discovered he had another woman. Eddie wants to resume their relationship, but she's all worn out - tired of being used and abused.
Sex was the only bond between these two, and the carnal fires still burn. But now sex has become a weapon. They rant and rail as they review the past. An old man hangs around the motel, drinking and playing his harmonica. His narrow eyes take in the verbal warfare between the two.
May's new suitor, Martin, appears on the scene to take her to a movie. Eddie plays some cruel games with this bumpkin and then says: "There's not a movie in this town that cn match the story I can tell."
The ensemble acting in Fool for Love is outstanding. Sam Shepherd's Eddie is a loner whose longings can't be lassoed. Kim Basinger's May is a woman who says no to her aching libido and is trying desperately to transcend the psychic pain that has dogged her days. Harry Dean Stanton's Old Man is a father who remains self-absorbed and oblivious to the confusions of his offspring. And Randy Quaid's Martin comes across as a simple man who is bewildered by what he hears and sees.