In 'Perfect Sense,' a love story between two damaged people is set against the backdrop of a mysterious epidemic that affects the emotions and the senses. It works like an epileptic fit: The first wave is a great outpouring of grief and loss, with memories returning of everything you ever loved and every person you ever hurt -- the things that haunt you when you're alone at night in the dark. And then you lose your sense of smell, effectively severing that most direct tie between sense and memory forever.
This, in a way, is how Susan (Eva Green) and Michael (Ewan McGregor) fall in love. He's a cad, and she's been hurt too much to let her guard down. Instead, she focuses on her work as an epidemiologist. She's just begun seeing cases of this new syndrome, but she and her colleagues decide there's no real cause for alarm ... yet. One night after work, Michael convinces Susan to let him cook her dinner -- he's a chef at the restaurant whose back door faces her apartment building -- and midway through the meal, Susan is overcome with grief. Michael hurries her home, and they spend the night together; almost by osmosis or suggestion, Michael also experiences the first wave of this syndrome, and the next morning neither of them can smell their coffee.