Fueled by a passion for 1940s movies and her jazz musician father's tales of a time when “every hole-in-the wall bar had a band,” 14-year old Becky Shelling dreams of a career in show biz. It's 1974, hardly a high point in jazz history when trumpeter Ernie Shelling disappears, abandoning his adoring daughter to an abusive step-mother, an indifferent step-sister and a step-brother-in-law who lusts after Becky behind his wife's back. For solace, Becky befriends Carolyn Kibble, upstairs neighbor and barmaid at the Ernie's former haunt, the Half-Mile Bar. But it is the attention of businessman Lenny Moss that is the real salve for her emotional wound. Smooth-talking, dapper and very married, Lenny has nostalgic yearnings of his own. Unbeknownst to Becky, his nostalgia is limited to a time when men ruled and women knew their place. Taking Becky to work for him on Baltimore's World-Famous Block, Lenny inadvertently leads her down a path of self-discovery on a once-stylish, now-decrepit adult entertainment strip where everyone has a tale about “the good old days,” but nothing is quite as it seems.
As Becky struggles to reconcile her life as Lenny’s mistress/star performer with the realization that her father’s disappearance was no accident, These Days juxtaposes past and present, myth and reality in ways that shine a light on the pitfalls of nostalgia and challenge the tenacity with which we cling to the past.