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Save the Last Dance (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music, Romance | 12 January 2001 (USA)
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A white midwestern girl moves to Chicago, where her new boyfriend is a black teen from the South Side with a rough, semi-criminal past.

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,165 ( 217)
6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Roy
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Vince Green ...
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Arvel (as Artel Jarod Walker)
Cory Stewart ...
Lip
Jennifer Anglin ...
Glynn
Dorothy Martin ...
Momma Dean
Kim Tlusty ...
Lindsay
...
Woman on Train
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Storyline

Sara wants to be a ballerina, but her dreams are cut short by the sudden death of her mother. She moves in with her father, who she has not seen for a long time. He lives on the other side of town, in a predominantly Black neighborhood. She gets transferred to a new school where she is one of the few White students there. She becomes friends with Chenille, and later, falls in love with Chenille's brother, Derek. Written by Kara

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Only Person You Need To Be Is Yourself.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and brief drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasión y baile  »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,526,443 (USA) (12 January 2001)

Gross:

$91,038,276 (USA) (6 July 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Thomas Carter cast Julia Stiles in the role of Sara after seeing her "table dance" in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). See more »

Goofs

The same shot showing the school entrance and a guy wearing a yellow jacket walking on the street is used twice. Once in the scene where Sara arrives at the school for the first time, and once right before the scene with Malakai and a girl in the school bathroom. See more »

Quotes

Sara: Screw you, I'm brilliant and cool.
Derek: You're not quite there yet.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Save the Last Dance 2 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can Do It
by Ice Cube (as O'Shea Jackson), Mack 10 (as Dedrick Rolison), Don "One Eye" Saunders,
Arthur Baker, Afrika Bambaataa, 'Pow Wow' (as Robert Allen), G.L.O.B.E. (as John B. Miller),
, Mr. Biggs (as Ellis Williams) & John Robie
Performed by Ice Cube featuring Mack 10 and Ms. Toi
Courtesy of Priority Records
Contains sample from "Planet Rock"
Performed by Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force (as The Soul Sonic Force)
Under license from Tommy Boy Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Clichéd, but better than I expected it to be
21 May 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Sara's mother is killed in a car accident she comes to live in a predominately black area in Chicago. She is befriended by black Chenille and starts to fall for her brother Derek. Derek teaches her the latest hip-hop dances to help her fit in and together they begin to fall for each other. However a white girl seeing a clever black man is never going to be popular and the couple must overcome many obstacles to see their dreams and be true to themselves.

Did someone say `a black Dirty Dancing?' Essentially that's what this is, although the story is naturally a bit more urban than that film. The story is about overcoming to reach your dreams, and it does it quite well – better than I expected. The love story is nice without being too romanticised. The obstacles are the usual things in an `urban' film – the challenge of mixed race relationships, the temptation to back up your crew instead of getting out etc. These are quite cliched but are still well done.

My main problem came with the strength of black culture in the film…not every black person (even in a poor area) talks like a gangsta…and not everyone says `aiiiirite' – and why did Sara only become accepted when she started to imitate black culture and speak in that way. It may be realistic, but I felt that Sara should have been allowed to be herself rather than be seen to be assimilated into the hip-hop culture (I don't mean that she shouldn't have got involved with the scene – but did she have to lose part of herself to get there?). However these are minor side issues that many people won't even think about.

The cast are good for MTV teens. Julia Stiles is cool and Thomas is cute and charming. The rest of the cast fall into so many black stereotypes – we have gangsta friend, baby mothers galore, useless baby father, jealous bitchy ex-girlfriends etc. However they are just what you expect so I wasn't too upset. Fredro Starr was cool as Malakai – even if the character was just one big hood cliché.

The soundtrack is hot and the dance scenes are sexy – I wish I could do it! They are much more enjoyable than Dirty Dancing's scenes – although some day this will feel dated too! Overall I expected another piece of MTV teen tat, but I was pleasantly surprised by a story that, despite being ridden with clichés, is actually very involving and enjoyable.


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