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Save the Last Dance (2001)

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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.

Director:

Thomas Carter

Writers:

Duane Adler (story), Duane Adler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,395 ( 581)
6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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A pretty, popular teenager can't go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does.

Director: Gil Junger
Stars: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Stiles ... Sara
Sean Patrick Thomas ... Derek
Kerry Washington ... Chenille
Fredro Starr ... Malakai
Terry Kinney ... Roy
Bianca Lawson ... Nikki
Vince Green Vince Green ... Snookie
Garland Whitt ... Kenny
Elisabeth Oas ... Diggy
Artel Great ... Arvel (as Artel Jarod Walker)
Cory Stewart Cory Stewart ... Lip
Jennifer Anglin Jennifer Anglin ... Glynn
Dorothy Martin Dorothy Martin ... Momma Dean
Kim Tlusty Kim Tlusty ... Lindsay
Felicia Fields ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pasión y baile See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,526,443, 14 January 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$91,057,006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$131,706,809
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 chair during Sara's final audition changes direction, depending on which side the camera shot is from. See more »

Quotes

Chenille: Quit it Nikki.
Nikki: Excuse me, I ain't walkin on egg shells just cause you brought the Brady Bunch to the negro club.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD features four deleted scenes:
  • Record Store: A scene after the first night at Steps. Snook tries to talk a girl and gets shot down. He gives Derek the last copy of a CD. Sara shops for some hip-hop CDs and flirts with Derek.
  • Jazz Club: Sara goes to see her father play.
  • Chenille's Apartment: Kenny and Chenille argue about their son and talk about their relationship before the baby.
  • Playground: Kenny and Chenille talk in a park.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Concerto in G for Piano and Orchestra
Second Movement, Adagio Assai"
Written by Maurice Ravel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
really corny
22 October 2004 | by fred112371See all my reviews

Lame script, bad directing. The school scenes were so unrealistic -- c'mon, on her very first day at school a black girl completely befriends her out of nowhere and treats her like she's her best friend, even sticking up for her to every other girl in school. Couldn't they at least have set it up better, where Sarah does something to gain her trust, or her friend has a white parent, or anything interesting? Something besides no reason or charity work.

The scenes where they practiced dancing in the empty school room, they were so stupid it was embarrassing to watch. And practicing how to sit? She's white, not a guy. The club dancing scenes, also ridiculous and hard to watch. Show me someone in the room making a comment or something. Wasn't the point of this movie to make a statement about racial tension and acceptance? She hardly had any real problems that weren't easily avoided. Even the eventual "fight" with her boyfriend lasted only 2 minutes and was reconciled for no particular reason.

And too often I always notice Stiles acting, if you know what I mean, which isn't a good thing. Like in a high school play.

The scene in the ER waiting room with her friend going off on her, that was about the only good dramatic scene. And even that was a cliché quote ("black girls don't have enough good black men anymore") that I've heard many times before on TV and movies.

Sarah's constant "I don't want to talk about it" about her boycotting dancing and about her mother...cliché like a bad sitcom. Ooh, but then she overcomes it all in the end, with the help of her boyfriend...how surprising.

This was really painful to watch. I gave it a 2 because I've seen a lot worse movies. The script and filming must have been put together really quickly because it seemed like there wasn't much imagination behind it. I actually thought going into it that there would be some interesting viewpoints or more hard-hitting scenes. I guess I forgot it was an MTV movie.


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