: : : Save the Last Dance

Story

Save the Last Dance enjoyed a profitable release in early 2001, with box-office earnings that exceeded anyone's expectations. Its performance illustrates the staying power of a formulaic movie that avoids the pitfalls and clichés that would otherwise render it forgettable. Since there's nothing new here, you'll appreciate the original quirks in a character-based plot that's just around the corner from Flashdance, and just as familiar. Sara (Julia Stiles) gave up a promising ballet career when her mother was killed while rushing to attend her daughter's crucial audition to Juilliard; Sara blames herself for the accident, and at her new, mostly African American high school in Chicago, she's uncertain of her future.

Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas) has no such doubts; his own future is bright, and his attraction to Sara is immediate; they connect (predictably), and Sara's dormant funk emerges, with Derek's coaching, as she learns hip-hop dancing in a local club. Obligatory subplots are equally routine: Derek's sister (Kerry Washington) is a single mom struggling with her child's absentee father; Derek's best friend (Fredro Starr) feels trapped in his gangsta lifestyle; and Sara's once-estranged father (Terry Kinney) is doing his best to correct past mistakes. Within the confines of this standard follow-your-dream drama, director Thomas Carter capitalizes on a script that allows these characters to be real, intelligent, and thoughtful about their lives and their futures. It's obvious that Stiles's dancing was intercut with that of a professional double, but that illusion hardly matters when the rest of the movie's so earnestly positive and genuine. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Interactive Menus
  • Scene Selection
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Exclusive Cast & Crew Interviews
  • The Making Of Save The Last Dance
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Music Video: "Crazy" by K-Ci & JoJo
  • Commentary by Director Thomas Carter

Cast

Julia StilesSara
Sean Patrick ThomasDerek
Kerry WashingtonChenille
Fredro StarrMalakai
Terry KinneyRoy
Bianca LawsonNikki

Recent threads
  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Thomas Carter (II)
  • Producer: Paramount
  • Length: 120 mins
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 12, 2001
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJun 19, 2001
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