When it's after midnight in New York City, you don't have to look for love, laughter and trouble. They'll all find you!
An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop.
After a long and boring day at work, Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne), a computer word processor, meets Marcy Franklin (Rosanna Arquette) in a local cafe in New York City. They discuss their common interest in Henry Miller. Marcy leaves Paul her number and informs him that she lives with a sculptor named Kiki Bridges (Linda Fiorentino), who makes and sells plaster of Paris paperweights resembling cream cheese bagels. Later in the night, under the pretense of buying a paperweight, Paul visits Marcy, taking a cab to her apartment. On his way to visit Marcy, a $20 bill is blown out the window of the cab, leaving him with only some spare pocket change. The cab driver is furious that he cannot pay. This is the first in a long series of misadventures for Paul that turn hostile through no fault of his own. At the apartment Paul meets the sculptor Kiki and Marcy, and comes across a collection of photographs and medications which imply that Marcy is severely disfigured from burns on her legs and torso. As a result of this implication, and as a result of a strained conversation with Marcy, Paul abruptly slips out of the apartment.
Paul then attempts to go home by subway, but the fare has increased at the stroke of midnight and he finds that his pocket change is no longer sufficient to purchase a token. He goes to a bar where Julie (Teri Garr), a waitress, becomes enamored with him. At the bar, Paul learns that there have been a string of burglaries in the neighborhood. The bar’s owner, Tom Schorr (John Heard), offers to give Paul money to cover the subway fare, but cannot open the cash register. They exchange keys so Paul can go to Tom’s place to fetch the cash register keys. On the way back from Tom’s apartment, Paul is questioned by suspicious neighbors. Afterwards, Paul spots two actual burglars, Neil (Cheech Marin) and Pepe (Tommy Chong), with one of Kiki’s sculptures. After he attempts to confront them, they flee, dropping the sculpture in the process. When Paul returns the sculpture to Kiki and Marcy’s apartment, he finds Marcy has committed suicide. Kiki and a stout man named Horst have already left to go to Club Berlin, a nightclub…