It's 1979, and 16-year-old Alex Markov is a senior in high school. All of her friends are losing their virginity, and she is being pressured to join the club. Meanwhile, her family is falling apart. Her parents are more bohemian than the other, more conservative, waspy parents. Her parents separate, and her mother and "best friend" Clarice goes off the deep end sexually. She begins "exploring" lots of new relationships with differnent men. Alex wants to be a dancer. Her dream is to be accepted to Juilliard. but she blows the audition, because she is upset by her family and her own lack of sexual desire toward her boyfriend. Ultimately, she alienates her best friends, and has an affair with her mother's boyfriend. Her mother forgives her and together they try and get on with their lives. In the end, Alex performs a dance solo, while her mother watches with tears in her eyes. The head of Juilliard is there to witness her triumph.