In Paris, France, set in the 80's, a Woman named Madame Loisel dreams of a very rich and proper lifestyle. One day, her husband brings her an invitation to a party for the rich, but she is devastated by the fact that she has nothing to wear.
She is very saddened by the fact that she thinks that she is poor, and decides to not only use her husband's nest egg to buy a dress, and she borrows a diamond necklace from her friend, madame Forestner.
Madame Loisel attends the party, and is the center of the show, grabbing everyone's attention, and enjoying herself to her fullest.
After the party, as she is taken home by her husband by taxi, she realizes that the necklace that is worth more than her life is missing.
After buying time, stalling, and having her husband search for the lost necklace for a week, she finally decides to spend all of her money and get a couple large loans to buy a new one.
After working off her enormous debt for 10 years, she meets up with Mme. Forestner by chance and is told that the lost necklace was only made of paste; it had almost no value at all! She had spent all her money, her dreams, and a decade of her life on her own desires for wealth.