Feels Like Kids Skate
Release Date: September 23, 2005
Starring: Bow Wow, Chi McBride, Wesley
Jonathan, and Meagan Good
Audience: Teenagers to adults
Rating: PG-13 for language and some
Runtime: 110 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Executive Producer: Dana Reid, Adam Robinson and
Producer: Robert Teitel and George
Writer: Norman Vance Jr.
Address Comments To:Peter Rice, President
Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A Division of Fox, Inc.
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-4402
Xavier, played by the R&B artist Bow Wow, lives in a black suburb in the late 70s and spends his summers at the rollerrink. He and his friends are disappointed to find that their local rink is going out of business and that they’ll have to go to the northside and skate with snobby youth. They encounter a skater called Sweetness who awes everyone. Xavier and his friends decide to practice hard and challenge Sweetness in the skating competition at the end of the summer.
A sideplot has teenaged Xavier trying to get along with his father. Both are grieving the loss of Xavier’s mother. The father is nervous about being a single parent and, on top of his problems at home, has been laid off at work. Father and son have to learn to be honest with each other before their home can return to normal.
ROLL BOUNCE has a simple plot that would not be out of place in a made-for-Disney Channel movie. Likewise, the humor is squarely aimed at young teenagers or pre-teens. It is baffling, therefore, why the movie is being presented to a general audience, or why the normally arty Fox Searchlight company would present it. The filmmakers themselves seem confused about who their target audience is. The core material is clearly for young people, but there are two casual uses of the ‘n’ word and an intense scene where Xavier, in a fit of repressed anger, smashes his dad’s car.
There is a light moral theme about forgiveness and light foul language, save the use of racial epithets. The movie’s essential purity is another indicator that it was partially intended for young audiences.
With a sensibility geared for kids, ROLL BOUNCE will not fare well with adults. The acting is too amateur, the story too bland, and there is simply too much footage of rollerskating. Imagine if FIELD OF DREAMS had filmed an entire baseball game. This movie doesn’t have baseball, however, it has amateur actors rollerskating.
Essentially a television movie about rollerskating in the disco era, ROLL BOUNCE misses its target, whatever that was.
ROLL BOUNCE has a simple plot that would not be out of place in a children’s movie. The filmmakers seem confused about their target audience, since the core material is clearly for children, but there are two casual uses of the ‘n’ word. There is a light moral theme about forgiveness and some light foul language. Regardless, the acting is too amateur, and the movie drags on too long. Essentially a television movie about rollerskating, ROLL BOUNCE misses its target.