Adam (John Travolta), a jet-set reporter who is working on two pieces for Rolling Stone, states: "Popular culture is to society the same things dreams are to individuals. If you want to find out more about individuals, you try to analyze their dreams." This film, co-written and directed by James Bridges (The China Syndrome, Urban Cowboy), presents a glimpse of narcissism in contemporary America as reflected by the health club scene and the glory-seeking antics of journalists.

Adam goes to California to do a hatchet-job piece on "health clubs as the singles bar of the 1980s." At the posh L.A. SportsConnection, he is dazzled by Jessie (Jamie Lee Curtis), who's called "the pied piper of aerobics." This former Olympic-class swimmer was burned by a reporter in the past and doesn't want to have anything to do with Adam's article. But once he starts talking about Emerson and ethics, her libido heats up, and they have sex at his hotel.

Adam returns to New York for an interview with a businessman who is being indicted by the government on drug charges. Meanwhile, his editor (Jann Wenner) pressures him for the California piece. Adam switches the focus of the article to interviews with Sally (Marilu Henner), a ditsy woman in love with a male stripper (Matthew Reed) she met at the club, and Linda (Laraine Newman), a promiscuous lonely lady who has a reputation for being "the most used piece of equipment in the gym." Linda is convinced that a beautiful body is the ticket to meeting the right man.