1990 romantic comedy film starring Julia Roberts and Richard …
The film opens five years earlier than the present, showing the Fourth of July celebration at the American consulate in Dubai, where Ray Koval (Clive Owen), an MI6 agent, appears to seduce Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts), unknowingly to him a CIA agent. Claire manages to drug Ray and steals classified documents from him.
The scene cuts to Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson), the CEO of Burkett & Randle, and Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti), the CEO of Equikrom, illustrating the rivalry between the two consumer product corporations when they get into a brawl upon encountering each other on thetarmac.
In the present day, Ray is a corporate spy in New York City who goes to work for Equikrom; at a meet, he spots Claire, thinking the mission is blown. When Ray follows her and confronts her finally for the incident in Dubai, Claire persistently puts up an innocent act, pretending she has never met Ray, until they both realize they were supposed to meet. Claire has been undercover as a counter-intelligence officer at Burkett & Randle for the past 14 months, and Ray is to become her new handler.
At Burkett & Randle, a major development is underfoot, and Tully makes a speech that paints them as innovators defending themselves from duplicity and theft. At Equikrom, who manage to get a copy of the speech through Claire, Dick Garsik scoffs at the company that purchased a dump to go through their garbage, and plots to steal whatever Burkett & Randle have developed.
The scene cuts to two years earlier in Rome, where we see Ray and Claire actually meeting for the first time since Dubai as well as Claire's exact same innocent act as before. It is revealed Ray and Claire did not meet at Equikrom by chance; they plan to wait for the perfect opportunity to cheat both companies and sell a corporate secret to the highest bidder for themselves. It's clear, however, neither still completely trusts the other, and suspicion abounds as to who is playing whom.
The team at Equikrom believes Ronny Partiz (Christopher Denham), a child prodigy turned genius, might be responsible for Burkett & Randle's new product. Ray and Boris Fetyov (Oleg Stefan) stake out Partiz at a casino in the Bahamas, when Claire and Jeff Bauer (Thomas McCarthy) from Burkett & Randle foil their plans by planting evidence of them cheating the casino.
In return, Howard Tully at Burkett & Randle thanks Claire for successfully defending the company's new product, revealing it to be the cure for baldness. When Jeff Bauer is later caught attempting to steal the formula and she is left guarding him and the formula alone, Claire manages to use one of the rigged photocopiers at Burkett & Randle to transfer it to Equikrom.
Back at Equikrom, Claire accuses Ray of stealing the formula for himself, and he is searched and exposed when it is found. Ray, believing Claire betrayed him, later finds Claire at the Zürich airport in Switzerland. Claire confesses she loves him and that's why she's still at the airport; Ray reciprocates the feelings and reveals he had another copy of the formula.Ray and Claire attempt to sell the formula to a Swiss company for $35 million; meanwhile Dick Garsik is revealing to his shareholders that they are in the final stages of testing for a product that cures baldness. The Swiss, however, reveal the formula is a fraud. The scene cuts to ten days earlier, where we see Pam Frailes (Kathleen Chalfant) at Equikrom was really working for Burkett & Randle all along, Ronny Partiz was simply used as the bait, and Jeff Bauer staged stealing the formula. The film ends with Ray and Claire, as well as Garsik at the end of his shareholders' meeting, realizing they have all been played by Howard Tully.