Life is pure chance: while on a trip to Japan, fashion designer Ida (Alexandra Maria Lara) meets the two "fish sellers" Otto (Christian Ulmen) and Leo (Simon Verhoeven) at a bus stop. Calling themselves the "Flying Fish Doctors," they've specialized in the valuable koi fish. Ida falls for the veterinarian Otto and marries him then and there, in Japan. Back in Germany, the now pregnant Ida and her husband Otto live in a camper, but soon move into a small welfare apartment. While Otto is perfectly content to raise his child and his koi, career-minded Ida keeps breaking out of the narrow confines of their tiny flat in search of a better, bigger life. But even after various strokes of good fortune allow them to move into a comfortable row house and, later, into a lakeside villa, Ida's thirst for more seems unquenchable. The tension between her and Otto grows...Their friends Leo and Yoko (Young-Shin Kim) lead a much more luxurious life, but Yoko is always frustrated, and Leo simply cannot make her happy, no matter what he does. But before the story is over, there will be lots of unexpected turns and events in the lives of all four protagonists. With wit, spirit and imagination, Doris Dörrie tells the story of four endearing but very different people whose wishes, longings and hopes keep them both together and, somehow, apart... The fairy tale on which the story is loosely based shines through the film's structure and gives it an enchanting, "magical" color which does not diminish the story's plausibility in any way.