329 user 92 critic

Save the Last Dance (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music, Romance | 12 January 2001 (USA)
2:31 | Trailer
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.


Thomas Carter


Duane Adler (story), Duane Adler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,208 ( 1,279)
6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


The Only Person You Need To Be Is Yourself.


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 »

Did You Know?


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 »


Large set lighting piece visible twice in Sarah's bedroom. Once, beginning of movie when she first arrives in Chicago. Again, very noticeably, when her father reveals the redecorated room. See more »


Derek: Yeah, but six months here gotta be better than six up the juvie.
Malakai: Yeah, they got girls in here.
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 »


Featured in K-Ci & JoJo: Crazy (2000) See more »


Don't Stop Get It
Written by Anthony President and Ainz Brainz Prasad (as Brainz Dimilo)
Performed by Blackout
See more »

User Reviews

read my comment for my summary on this movie
10 May 2006 | by themush01See all my reviews

Throughout history there has been hardships for African Americans. Slavery, human rights, discrimination, and racism have been very obvious problems for them. Although they have gained their human rights and slavery has been abolished, discrimination and racism are still around in the twenty-first century. Within the romantic drama Save The Last Dance directed by Thomas Carter, 2001, it lets its viewers see and recognize what people are still like to this day when dealing with different races such as white and black.

Within this movie the main character Sara wants to be a ballerina. Her mother died in a car accident on her way to see her perform, in attempt to get into Sara Lawrence University. She had to move in with her father who is a struggling musician and live in a rundown apartment, in Chicago. Sara's new school is mainly of African American descent and she is the minority. She makes friends with a girl named Chenille and starts adopt some things that Chenille does in order to fit in.

Chenille has a brother Derek. Derek and Sara fall in love and it is hard for them because they get a lot of problems just because they are in interracial couple. Sara and Derek both get into fights defending themselves from their peers and friends. The explanation for Chenille to Sara about why she shouldn't be with Derek was because she was white. She said that since Sara was white, she was taking one of the only good men left for the black woman. This is complete discrimination against Sara, even thought Chenille is her best friend there in Chicago.

. Sara who grew up in the southwest, was not used to this ghetto Chicago area. She was taught how to dance like everyone else, and started to listen to the same music as they did, so she would fit in and have a good time. Her best friend from home doesn't think it's even possibly for Sara to find a guy down where she is because no one is white. She asks questions such as, "Have you seen anyone get shot yet?" Such questions and statements show that the low class status of this neighborhood is discriminated against.

Save The Last Dance portrays the discrimination that still going on during this day and age. Gun fights, death, clubs, music, romance, tragedy, dancing, and racism are all present within this movie. The lower class Chicago area shows how dangerous things can be. The events that happen between the Sara and Derek and other events within this movie truly show how America is still discriminatory towards people.

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Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Save the Last Dance See more »


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,444,930, 14 January 2001

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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