After a long night of partying, Bobby Moore and four of his friends drive over a bridge and crash into a truck. His father, Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid), the reverend of the church of the small Southern United States town of Bomont, Georgia; persuades the city council to pass several paternalistic laws, including a ban on all unsupervised dancing within the city limits.
Three years later, Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald), a teenager raised in Boston, moves to Bomont to live with his uncle, aunt, and cousins after his mother's painful death from leukemia. Soon after arriving, Ren makes friends with Willard Hewitt (Miles Teller), a fellow senior at Bomont High, and from him learns about the ban on dancing.
He soon begins to be attracted to...