Synopsis by Mark Deming
Three 12-year-old boys grow up a bit faster than they expected when an adventure takes an unforseen turn in this bittersweet comedy. Joe (Soren Fulton), Tiger (Matthew Borish), and Chris (Sam Semenza) are best friends growing up together in Allentown, PA. The three boys look to one another for support as they struggle with their personal issues -- Joe's big brother is in Europe, Tiger's dad is a cop who has developed a drinking problem, and Chris is a target for bullies since he's overweight. When Joe reads some open mail in his house that leads him to suspect his parents haven't been honest with him about a trip they're planning while he's away at baseball camp, he and his friends hit the road for Philadelphia to find out the truth. While Joe, Tiger, and Chris try at first to make the 60-mile trip on their bikes, the fates have other plans, and they soon turn to hitchhiking. The boys are picked up by a grubby guy named Rascal (Michael Dean), who en route sticks up a convenience store, and the three runaways aren't sure if they're hostages or accomplices as the police begin looking for them and Rascal at the same time. Rounding First was the first feature film from writer and director Jim Fleigner.