Nine centers around Guido Contini, a famous Italian film director and ladies man. His last couple of movies have been panned by the critics, and Guido is under pressure to make a return to form with his latest film. However, there is one major problem: he hasn’t written a line of the script and has lost all inspiration. Guido’s professional and personal lives becomes intertwined as he attempts to save both his career and his marriage. His wife, Luisa, threatens to divorce Guido unless he can pay more attention to the marriage, but the director is constantly pulled in another direction by his saucy mistress, Carla, who shows up at the most inconvenient times.
In an attempt to find peace and inspiration, Guido suggests that he and Luisa go to a luxury spa near Venice. However, he does not expect his whole film crew and production team to follow him also. As Guido struggles to find a story line for his film, his mind becomes increasingly preoccupied, and fantasy and reality become inextricably intertwined. Carla arrives from Rome and provides a naughty distraction, while his fierce producer Liliane La Fleur pressures Guido to produce the musical he agreed to. In Guido’s confused mind, the women from his past and present all appear to him, including his Mother, Sarraghina (a prostitute), and Claudia, his muse and movie star. As he tries to create a new masterpiece, Guido must face the ultimate decision of life and death.
Nine guide sections