New York City 1970s, Shane O'Shea (Ryan Philippe) leaves his New Jersey suburbs for Manhattan, where he's hired as a busboy at Studio 54 by Steve Rubell (Mike Myers) and gains entry to the exclusive club where he meets Julie Black (Neve Campbell) and falls for her, Shane also befriends Anita (Salma Hayek), the club's coat check girl and her husband Greg (Breckin Meyer) and an elderly party girl (Ellen Albertini Dow) known as "Disco Dottie". Soon, Shane gets caught in drugs, sex, and debauchery resulting in Steve Rubell's undoing and the downfall of Studio 54.
In 2015, a director's cut was released. This cut restored 40 minutes of original material and cut 30 minutes of studio reshoots. Most of what was cut were scenes showing bisexual and homosexual relationships, including a kiss between Shane and Greg. As well as entire sub-plots, such as Shane and Anita's affair and Greg struggling with the decision to have sex with his boss for a promotion.
The director's cut also features a different ending, with Shane, Greg and Anita staying together as a family rather than drifting apart.
This film contains tropes of:
- The '70s/The '80s: The movie begins in 1979 and ends on New Year's Eve 1981.
- Adaptational Sexuality: Shane is straight in the theatrical cut, but bisexual in the director's cut.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Grace might be viewed as this.
- The Beard: Steve tells Greg "guys don't get married that young unless they're trying to prove something".
- Big Applesauce: The movie is set largely in Manhattan including Studio 54.
- Casting Couch: Anita agrees to have sex with someone from the record company in an attempt to get a recording contract.
- Coolest Club Ever: No club was probably cooler in The '70s than Studio 54.
- Cool Old Lady: Disco Dottie is elderly, but that doesn't stop her from being a party girl.
- Disco: The film takes place in the New York City 1970s, the time and place where disco was at its highest.
- Drugs Are Good: Considering the movie's setting, there's a lot of this attitude.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Most of the characters sleep around with each other.
- Family of Choice: Greg, Anita and Shane.
- Happy Flashback: Shane has one of him spending time with his deceased mother.
- Jerkass: Steve, in spades. Mike Myers seems to play him as Fat Bastard if he wasn't fat.
- Missing Mom: Shane's mother passed away when he was a preteen.
- Mr. Fanservice: Shane, who gladly strips off his shirt to get Steve's attention and get a job in Studio 54.
- Named After Someone Famous: Shane's baby sisters Grace and Kelly are named after Grace Kelly.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Disco Dottie, whose real name is revealed to be Mona.
- A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: A party in Studio 54 may be considered this.
- The Peeping Tom: Steve spies on Anita and Shane having sex in the bathroom. Later, he tells Greg he'd like to see him and his wife "wrestling around".
- Really Gets Around: Shane.
- Seduction-Proof Marriage: A one sided one. Greg initially refuses to have sex with Steve for a promotion, saying he's married. He is faithful to Anita throughout the film, and freaked out on Shane for kissing him. Anita however, agrees to sleep with someone for a chance at a record deal, and cheats on Greg with Shane.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: What happens in Studio 54 may be considered a disco version of this.
- Sex for Services: Steve offers Greg a bartending job in exchange for oral sex. Greg almost does it, but is freaked out when he realizes there is another man in the room. Later in the film, he decides to let it happen but Steve declines his offer.
- Sleeping Their Way to the Top: Shane does this.