A retired goth rock star (Sean Penn
) living in Ireland learns that his father is dying and travels back to America. He's too late for the funeral, but he learns that his father was in Auschwitz - and that the man who persecuted him there may still be alive...
Contains examples of:
- Afraid of Needles: Snorting heroin? No problem. Shooting it? Hell no!
- And Then What?: Cheyenne's hunt for the Nazi war criminal is derailed by the question: And what are you going to do when you find him?
- As Himself: David Byrne.
- Broken Bird: Cheyenne, who blames himself for the suicides of two of his fans.
- Deadpan Snarker: Cheyenne. He's more soft-spoken than most, but just as snarky.
- Fish out of Water: Cheyenne, just about everywhere he goes, and the source of most of the comedy in the film.
- Freudian Excuse: Cheyenne and his father haven't spoken in thirty years, and Cheyenne is convinced that his father did not love him. This is ultimately subverted. His father loved him regardless.
- Goth: Cheyenne, of the Gloomy variety.
- I Have No Son: Cheyenne's father responded this way when, at age 15, Cheyenne started wearing make-up and being a Goth. Subverted. Cheyenne only realises that his father still loved him regardless after his father's death.
- Manchild: Many people point out that Cheyenne is one, and he does certainly come across that way.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Cheyenne is basically Robert Smith if he hunted Nazis.
- Refuge in Audacity: The film is practically made of this trope.
- Titled After the Song: the title derives from a Talking Heads song, which is performed twice in the film, once by Cheyenne and once by David Byrne.