Its the hottest day of the year when a couple hit the road for a holiday destination towards the south of France to meet their children. The roads are packed with heavy holiday traffic and miles of gridlock is expected. Antoine, annoyed by his wifes running late, tries to cool himself with beer after beer. By the time they hit the road, he has topped the beers with whisky but tries to conceal his drunkenness. Traffic slows and tempers flare. Antoine accuses his wife of not treating him like a real man. At each forced crawl and stop they break into accusations. He takes random turns and continues drinking in small town bars and pubs. The roads are busy with holiday goers and the police. A brief radio announcement reveals that a dangerous killer has escaped prison. The couple continue quarrelling. When she is temporarily left alone in the car and worried by Antoines inebriated state, she decides to go her own way and to look for alternative transport. Finding her gone, Antoine panics for a moment, but soon settles back to enjoy himself like a real man. Its a long night and every anonymous bar sign and neon light invites him for one more drink. He picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be the escaped killer and who, unbeknown to him, already just encountered his wife. The events start moving out of Antoines control and turn into a night of horror. The film climaxes the next day when he wakes up in the middle of nowhere and goes looking for his wife!