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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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3,649 ( 740)
6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sara
... Derek
... Chenille
... Malakai
... Roy
... Nikki
Vince Green ... Snookie
... Kenny
... Diggy
... 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 »

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasión y baile  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to an early draft of the script, Sarah lived with her mother in Pennsylvania before moving in with her father in Baltimore. By the time the film was shot, the locations were Lemont, IL and Chicago, respectively. See more »

Goofs

First scene at Steppes, when Sara and Derek are dancing, one of Nikki's friends is dancing next to them, then it cuts to her sitting with Nikki while they talk about Sara then cuts back to the dance floor where she is still dancing next to them. See more »

Quotes

[Chenille picks up Sara's backpack off the ground and Sara turns around, confused]
Chenille: That's how easy it is to give to charity around here. Don't put your shit on the floor.
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Connections

Spoofed in South Park: You Got F'd in the A (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

What You Want
by Sean Combs (as Sean "Puffy" Combs), Mase (as Mason Betha), Keisha Spivey, Nashiem Myrick, and Curtis Mayfield
Performed by Mase featuring Total
Courtesy of Bad Boy Entertainment, Inc./Arista Records, Inc.
Contains sample from "Right on for the Darkness"
Performed by Curtis Mayfield
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Clichéd, but better than I expected it to be
21 May 2002 | by 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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