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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.

Director:

Thomas Carter

Writers:

Duane Adler (story), Duane Adler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4,580 ( 270)
6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

$23,444,930, 14 January 2001

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

On Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003), Kerry Washington revealed that she saved her earnings from this film to buy her first laptop. See more »

Goofs

When walking into Steppes with Sara, Derek passes a girl with long braided hair and a cowboy hat. When they make their way to the dance floor a couple of seconds later, the same girl is seen on the dance floor. See more »

Quotes

Kenny: Don't blame me; I didn't want any of this!
Chenille: What? 'Cause I did? I climbed on top of myself and got myself pregnant?
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

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.65 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Drop It to Da Flow
Written and Performed by Shawty Redd
See more »

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User Reviews

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