Rudy Veloz (Ruben Blades) is tired of playing the New York Latin social club circuit in Harlem's "El Barrio." Ignoring the advice of his salsa mentor, the young man sees an agent who is supposed to be a "crossover expert." He turns out to be a drug dealer. Rudy then meets Neil Silver, a record producer who agrees to work with him on an English-language single. An album contract follows, but in the process, Rudy abandons his girlfriend Liz, his best friend, and his roots.

Crossover Dreams, directed by Leon Ichaso, offers few new twists on the theme of selling one's soul for success. But the salsa music is good, and Blades reveals talent as both a singer and actor.