The five-mile stretch between SoHo and Manhattan's Upper East Side becomes a vast wasteland of insurmountable obstacles in the hands of Martin Scorsese, as straight-laced word processor Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) tries to make his way uptown after a would-be date with Marcy Franklin (Rosanna Arquette) turns disastrous. (He learns that she has a boyfriend and has committed suicide.)

Burglary, mistaken identity, an empty wallet, and a ruthless mob of downtowners are just a few of the other things that stand between Paul and his own bed.