Will Burton (Gaelan Connell) is a music enthusiast and a David Bowie fan with a hint of rock and roll and boy next door. Throughout the movie, Will writes journal-like e-mails to Bowie every day, although Bowie never answers. When Will’s mother Karen (Lisa Kudrow) finds a new job, he switches to a new school, which he is eager to do since he was bullied at his previous one. During lunch one day at his new school, he meets a girl who says her name is written Sa5m but pronounced Sam, the 5 is silent (Vanessa Hudgens). She tells him about Bandslam, an annual music competition in which the winning band gets a recording contract. Will and Sa5m quickly become friends but, shortly after, he is sought after by another girl named Charlotte Barnes (Aly Michalka). One afternoon, Charlotte asks Will to join her in an after-school day-care center. When she starts inviting him to hang out with her, the teenager is stunned—as is his single mother Karen. Impressed by his eclectic knowledge of music, Charlotte, who is a gifted singer-songwriter, asks Will to manage her rock/ska band. Her goal is apparently to take revenge on her egocentric musician ex-boyfriend Ben Wheatley (Scott Porter) during Bandslam.
Bowie has a vital role in the film as Will Burton’s idol, to whom Burton frequently writes e-mails. He makes a short cameo in the end of the movie.