Geeky Bronx kid Jesse (John Leguizamo) goes to college, and emerges from under the shadow of his handsome older brother while honing his stage persona, and falling for pretty Lara (Radha Mitchell). Returning home after college, Jesse impulsively takes the stage at a local comedy club, where he is discovered by a talent agent (Ally Sheedy), who attempts to sell him as the next Latin sensation. Meanwhile, fame-seeking poetess Zowie (Rosie Perez) latches onto Jesse in hopes that he will be her ticket to the big time. That's exactly where Jesse is headed, too, though later, with his television career on fire, Jesse has an epiphany that prompts him to reevaluate the choices he made during his ascent to stardom. Later, Jesse's soul searching takes a back seat to his public feud with his Lara's new lover Jeffrey (Griffin Dunne).