Sara joins Julliard in New York to fulfill her and her mother's dream of becoming the Prima ballerina of the school. She befriends her roommates, Zoe and Miles, who teach hip-hop classes. ... See full summary »
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
This movie is a sort of updated Romeo and Juliet- meets- Dirty Dancing, and attempts to take on the complex issues surrounding racism and stereotypes while showcasing some fun dancing. Unfortunately, it fails on every level, thanks to a poor script that allows this movie to lapse into the many stereotypes it was hoping to dispel.
The two leads - Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas - do what they can, but nobody could sell this drivel. The writing is cringe-worthy in many, many spots. At times, even the actors seem to be unable to believe that they're actually require to say some of the things that they say. Everyone in the film besides the leads speaks in the sort of "gansta" talk that seems like a Hollywood/MTV notion of how kids really speak. Then there are the clichés: the teenage mothers, the drive-by shootings, the drug dealers and pretty much everything else you could think of.
Even the dancing - the film's supposed highlight - is poorly shot, so you don't get to see the sequences properly. Stiles insisted on doing all her own ballet, rather than using a body double - an admirable sentiment, perhaps, but someone should've noticed that it made the whole subplot of her being good enough to audition for Julliard rather unbelievable when she's shown stumbling over even simple steps. The dance scenes at the club were so chopped up that the audience is denied even the simple pleasure of some great dance scenes to break up this saccharine, eye-rolling plot.
Save The Last Dance could never have been a truly excellent movie, but it could have at least been fun and entertaining. But the writing was so terrible, it doesn't even achieve this goal.
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