In Paris, France, there are four Bohemians, the poet Rodolfo, the painter Marcello, the musician Schaunard, and the philosopher Colline living in an old attic. They are poor, but happy. On the night of Christmas Eve, they all intend to go to a bar, but Rodolfo has not finished writing his poem yet.
Rodolfo promises to join them soon, and the others leave.
A neighbor, Mimi, knocks on Rodolfo’s door, and she asks him to light her candle for her. But, Rodolfo’s candle goes out, too. At the moment, Mimi accidentally drops her key. When the two search for it in the dark, they touch each other’s hand. They fall in love.
At the lively Cafe Momus, Rodolfo introduces Mimi to his three friends. Musetta, the painter Marcello’s lover, arrives with a splashy entrance. Six friends enjoy celebrating their Christmas Eve!
The next year, in February, Mimi visits Musetta and Marcello. Mimi consults Marcello about Rodolfo who is recently cold to her. Then, Rodolfo speaks Marcello. Mimi hides and listens to the conversation. Rodolfo says to Marcello, “I love Mimi, but she is so ill, I am poor, and I can’t buy any medicine for her, and can’t take care of her. I should say goodbye to her.” Then, Rodolfo notices Mimi overhearing the conversation. They agree to separate and return to each other in the Spring. They love each other, but decide to separate.
After some time, the four poor Bohemians live happily as usual. However all is shattered when one day Musetta runs into their room with the news that Mimi is dying. Mimi really wants to spend her last moments by Rodolfo’s side. His friends go out to try to come up with the money to buy medicine to heal her. Rodolfo and Mimi remember the time they enjoyed together when they first met and fell in love. Mimi expresses that she never stopped loving Rodolfo and that he is her love, her entire life. When their friends return, Mimi takes her last breath. Rodolfo shouts Mimi’s name, and breaks down crying.