It's no accident that at the very beginning of the movie, the title shows up broken into three words, one on its own separate line: Taking. Wood. Stock. The immensely likeable comedian Demetri Martin plays Elliot Teichberg, a menschy young guy who is spending his summer at his parents' ramshackle motel in the Catskills in yet another attempt to stave off their foreclosure. He has a life back in NYC, sure, but his work as an interior designer and painter isn't going so well, and his friends are all leaving for San Francisco. Elliot, or Ellie as his parents call him, is the consummate Good Jewish Boy – he runs the local Chamber of Commerce, helps around the hotel, and withstands his Russian mother's browbeating (played by Vera Drake's Imelda Staunton).

It's only sheer luck and desperation that leads him to call the Woodstock folks after a nearby town decides they don't want a hippie invasion after all. The rest, as they say, is history, much to Elliot's bemusement. Obviously, though, the free love and plentiful drugs help grease the wheels of his own individuation, as the Summer of Love draws to a close and the darker era of Altamont and Manson creep closer.