Light absorption mechanism - correct me, I know I'm wrong

Here is a layman’s version:
In gases the distance of molecules is wider than the wavelength and light can easily propagate. In solids light is either reflected or penetrated into matter depending on the binding structure of materials. In some substances electrons capture the energy of photons (photovoltaic effect), but if there is enough space light gets lost between molecules and it’s absorbed. Frequent collisions of photons with molecules increase temperature locally.
What is the real mechanism - what role do colors play in this. I know my laser does a hole in black plastic, but not in white.

It’s all about the electrons, not just for the photoelectric effect. The difference is just in how neat and tidy the electrons’ response is.

And color doesn’t strictly speaking play a role in absorbtion; rather, absorption plays a role (or rather, the role) in color. Any given material will absorb different frequencies of light with different efficiencies, and those different absorbtions give rise to what we perceive as color. A black object absorbs all light relatively efficiently, while a white object absorbs none of it efficiently. A green object absorbs everything else pretty well, but not the greenish wavelengths, and so on.

What about my laser?

Your laser makes a hole in black plastic because the plastic is absorbing most of the light, and therefore heating up. It doesn’t make a hole in the white plastic because the white plastic is reflecting most of the light instead of absorbing it. Really, all that matters is whether the material absorbs or reflects the precise frequency that the laser uses: White and black are just two examples of possible behavior.

Color may have something to do with the orientation of molecules? Or resonance like with sound…