Synopsis by Mark Deming
A handful of inner-city kids move up to the big time in this teen-centric musical. Xavier Smith (Bow Wow), known to his friends as X, is a teenager growing up on the South Side of Chicago in the late '70s. X and his buddies are the hotshot skaters at the Palisades Gardens, a neighborhood roller rink where local kids roll to the latest disco sounds, but X loses his status as king of the hill when the Palisades closes down. With no skating action close by, X and his friends head uptown to the Sweetwater Roller Rink, where they feel like country mice in the big city among the expert skate dancers and beautiful women. But skating means a lot to X -- with his widower father, Curtis (Chi McBride) going through a bad patch, skating gives him a sense of accomplishment and a belief in his own talent. So X and company keep heading uptown to Sweetwater, where they prepare to take on Sweetness (Wesley Jonathan) and his crew of the rink's best dancers for the upcoming Roller Jam Skate-Off. X befriends a young local girl named Tori (Jurnee Smolett) and finds a good reason to go uptown when he meets a pretty skater girl, Naomi (Meagan Good). Meanwhile, Tori's mother, Vivian (Kellita Smith) takes an interest in Curtis. Featuring a score of classic '70s R&B and disco, Roll Bounce was directed by Malcolm D. Lee, who enjoyed a breakthrough hit with 2002's Undercover Brother.