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 »
2,132 ( 2,080)
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 ... 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?


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 »


The chair during Sara's final audition changes direction, depending on which side the camera shot is from. See more »


Snookie: I'm free Saturday night.
Chenille: Why, is your hand busy?
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 »


Shining Through
Written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly
Rap by Fredro Starr
Performed by Jill Scott and Fredro Starr
Produced by Fredro Starr and Davinci
Executive Producer: Omar Iceman Sharif (as Omar "Ice Man" Sharif)
Jill Scott performs courtesy of Hidden Beach Recordings
Fredro Starr performs courtesy of Koch Records
See more »

User Reviews

6 March 2004 | by PookyiscuteSee all my reviews

Possibly the worst movie Julia Stiles has ever made. She's not bad in the movie, although she could have been better, and even more to the point, they probably could have casted someone better than her in it.

The script should have been looked over a few more times before they actually went into production, and the plot was so distressing and horrible, that I wanted to cry because of what a bad movie this was. Sean Patrick Thomas, was really good and I thought that he did do a very convincing job in the film (but on the other hand, how hard was his character?). Stiles really needs to find better work than this. I really didn't like the transformation her character made from the beginning of the movie to the end of it. To me, she got worse not better by the end of the film, and she was supposed to seem 'helped'?

I give the movie a 3.5 out of 10. Some good scenes, boring parts with dancing, horrible script, trashy sexual sequences and not at all very realistic. But...if you like to watch freak dancing, be my guest. You'll enjoy it thoroughly in that case. But for real Stiles fans, don't get your hopes up for anything spectacular.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 340 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






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 »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed