Roller Boogie (1979)
Poor little rich girl Linda Blair is fed up with playing the cello, hostessing dinner parties and being the proper good-girl heiress that she is, and as a way to rebel, she wants to enter and win the local Roller Boogie contest. Such is the plot of the silly, but not-as-bad-as-you-remember, Roller Boogie.
It would be easy to pile on top of Roller Boogie as being a totally brainless and disposable exercise in trying to capitalize on a fad. Yes, it's all of those things; however, it is undeniably good-natured, cheerful and breezy. Compared to such other similar films of the era (Can't Stop the Music, Xanadu) it actually looks better and better.
While at the roller rink, Blair catches the eye of Jim Bray (a roller skating champion in his first and last movie role) and they decide they are the perfect team to enter and win the contest. Also part of the plot is the fact that the rink is about to be shut down by crooked developers and organized criminals and the contest must be a financial success for the doors to stay open. But this particular plot thread is really the worst part of the movie and a very unnecessary distraction.
Unfortunately for the movie, the very brief roller skating disco fad had already just about ended upon its release (something Xanadu also didn't notice the following year), so it died at the box-office and was mercilessly savaged by critics. Roller Boogie's failure sent Linda Blair's career spiralling further downward, a trajectory that began with Exorcist II: The Heretic two years earlier, and continued with an unbroken string of dogs like Chained Heat, Hell Night, Savage Streets, and Night Patrol. Her performance here is probably the most likable one she's ever given, and although Jim Bray wasn't going to win any acting awards, he is perfectly fine here, and miles better than most other athletes who tried to be actors like Bruce Jenner (Can't Stop the Music), Kurt Thomas (Gymkata), Carling Bassett (Spring Fever), Howie Long (Firestorm), Shaquille O'Neal (Kazaam), Steve Austin (The Condemned) or Mitch Gaylord (American Anthem).
Give Roller Boogie a try and you might be suprised. Is it a good movie? No. Is it a stupid movie? Yes. But it's difficult not feeling some genuine affection for it.