Picks and Pans Review: Roller Boogie

UPDATED 02/11/1980 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/11/1980 at 01:00 AM EST

How can a film go wrong with a name like this? There is something oddly endearing about an unabashedly moronic movie featuring a bunch of fresh-faced kids who tool around Southern California on rollerskates to the thumping cadence of a disco beat. Plot, of course, is purely incidental, yet director Mark L. Lester (not Richard, but the other Lester, who made the unforgettable Truck Stop Women) gamely follows one anyway. Pudgy but pretty Linda Blair stars as a poor little rich girl, a classical flutist who is seduced by the jungle rhythm of disco music and handsome Jim Bray, a skating whiz from the wrong side of the rollerdrome. They woo on wheels and eventually skate their little tootsies off in the climactic roller boogie contest, lifted virtually intact from Saturday Night Fever. Blair is only a passable skater, but thanks to an accomplished double (shades of The Exorcist), she and partner Bray (a former U.S. amateur champ) twirl convincingly. This is a harmless enough exercise, but if it's representative of the skate of things to come in the 1980s, heaven help us all. (PG)

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