Robert Eldridge, 39, musician, hapless sell-out and wannabe rock 'n' roller, has just blown his best chance at artistic redemption: producing a new-wave band. It's May, 1980.
"It's time to grovel," Robert says—time to go back to writing jingles about throbbing bladders and inflamed hemorrhoids.
His sales rep, Megan, is smart, funny, and pretty. She has her own agenda: to land a rich husband. She introduces Robert to her best friend, Katie, a corn-fed femme fatale who's an important copywriter.
Katie gives Robert a shot at a jingle for the launch of a new soda, Spirit Cola. Katie and Robert will have to spend a lot of time together working. That's just fine with Robert who's attracted to her.
One night, Robert finds himself drinking a glass of Dom Perignon, breaking his own rule.
The night before the Spirit session, Katie suggests getting some cocaine. He can't resist. Robert makes the most awkward pass in history, and Katie tells him it's time to go to bed. Alone. Robert vows to really quit this time.
The next day is Robert's 40th birthday. The jingle is a smash, but the party doesn't go well. It ends when June, Robert's wife, storms out followed shortly by Megan and even Katie,
Six months later, Robert and June are driving to a wedding. He's just out of rehab. Megan's marrying the head of the whole agency—she's finally landed a rich husband. Robert goes to the bar to get a seltzer. Katie sits down next to him and buys him a drink—a real drink, his favorite, a Jack Daniels and water. When she runs off after Evan, Robert is left alone at the bar. He thinks a bit, then turns his back on the drink and his old life. Could be worse.