The New Romantic Blake is student journalist. She writes a column about her relationship with her partner for her school newspaper, The HopelessRomantic. Following her most recent article, her editor, River Sherry, decides to rescind her column for being too dull and offers to reinstate it if she can come up with more interesting material.
Blake has accidentally switched her ID with another student’s ID while out with Nikki her roommate, as well as her best friend. Blake goes to return the ID and meets Morgan who is with an older male. Morgan urges Blake to stay, revealing that she’s a sugar babe and the man she’s with will pay Blake to remain. Blake declines.
In an editorial meeting the following day Blake learns that another journalist Jacob is seeking an award for Gonzo journalism and is being supported by River. Jealous, Blake decides to interview Morgan about her experience as a sugar baby. Blake receives an invitation from Morgan to a pool party, where she gets to meet Ian who is an older, rich professor. Ian propositions Blake to be his sugar-baby, but she politely refuses to turn him down. Blake writes about her experience for the newspaper but when River is intrigued by the article, he doesn’t give Blake her column until she points out that it seems like he is trying to pimp her in exchange for her column.
Blake and Nikki go to a costume event where Blake shows up as Raoul Duke and is astonished to find Jacob dressed as the same. Blake takes Jacob home, but their attempt to have sexual contact comes to an end because Jacob is not wearing a condom. Blake is writing about their failed hookups for her column, to Jacob’s utter dismay.
Blake accepts Ian’s offer and decides to meet for an evening date. The main reason she is interested in is to beat Jacob in the journalism award. Blake and Ian had a sex session on their first date. She initially believes that she received nothing in return, however Ian gives her the scooter after stealing her bike. Blake starts writing about her experience with Ian and her column becomes popular. When Jacob asks questions about the morality of her decision to write about Ian, Blake points out her column is anonymous.
Blake continues to meet Ian and despite initially not wanting to be with him, she eventually asks him to compose a recommendation letter for the journalism award , which Ian agrees to write.
Blake who has a high level of MDMA from accidentally eating the Nikki-laced cake, wakes up one afternoon to find Ian wearing a diamond bracelet and invites her to join Ian for an event. Blake accompanies Ian and is aware that the wedding is of Morgan’s sugar daddy. The groom accosts her after the ceremony and informs her that he’s interested in having a sexual relationship with her. Blake goes off without ever telling Ian. The New Romantic HD
Disturbed by what happened at the wedding, Blake begins to question her relationship with Ian and is struggling to figure out how it differs from prostitution. Blake is trying to get in touch with Ian over dinner, but Ian refuses answer any personal questions. The evening ends with them having sex despite Blake’s resistance. Blake unhappy after their first night of dating and a bit irritated, ventures outside to get fresh air. Following their first night of being together, she wanders home and finds the bike Ian handed her. She rides home dressed only in a bedsheet , but blends in with other students who have returned from a toga-themed party. She is greeted by Jacob who, seeing that she’s angry, takes her to breakfast where the two bond over being the children of divorced parents.
Blake returns home only to discover Ian facing Ian. He is threatening to reprimand him. He’s looked over her writing samples and found that she is recording their relationship. If she isn’t willing to put down the column Ian threatens to end her career and refuse to sign her recommendation letter for the award.
Reflecting on what to do Blake decides to sell the jewellery Ian gave her and refuses to remove the column. Even though both Blake as well as the men she featured in the column were anonymous she decides to publish her final column under her actual name, as she’s not ashamed of the experiences she had.
Going to the graduation ceremony, Blake gets a call from Jacob who asks her to meet Jacob in the bleachers. Jacob is unable to recreate a good version of the final scene from sleepless night in Seattle, which he saw after learning that Nora Emphron was Blake’s favourite author. Blake is thankful for the gesture, and they kissed as they went to the graduation ceremony.