Save the Last Dance

( 51 )

Overview

In this romantic drama, two teenagers in love struggle to look past their differences. After the unexpected death of her mother, Sarah Johnson Julia Stiles moves to Chicago to live with her father. Knowing no one at her new school and not at home in a gritty, inner-city high school, Sarah has trouble adjusting, but she soon becomes friends with Derek Sean Patrick Thomas, who has talent and street smarts but a checkered past. Sarah was an avid student of ballet before her mother's death sidelined her studies, ...
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Overview

In this romantic drama, two teenagers in love struggle to look past their differences. After the unexpected death of her mother, Sarah Johnson Julia Stiles moves to Chicago to live with her father. Knowing no one at her new school and not at home in a gritty, inner-city high school, Sarah has trouble adjusting, but she soon becomes friends with Derek Sean Patrick Thomas, who has talent and street smarts but a checkered past. Sarah was an avid student of ballet before her mother's death sidelined her studies, while Derek has some serious hip-hop moves, and their mutual love of dance leads their friendship into something deeper. However, since Sarah is white and Derek is black, they have more to contend with than the average high school couple; Sarah gets static from Nikki Bianca Lawson, Derek's former girlfriend, while Derek has to deal with his friend Malakai Fredro Starr, who is still deep in the thug life Derek is trying to avoid. Save the Last Dance was directed by Thomas Carter, who previously examined the sociopolitical side of dancing in Swing Kids.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Julia Stiles, certainly the most intelligent and soulful of teen-movie ingenues circa 2001, enjoys a particularly meaty leading role in Save the Last Dance, an endearing, occasionally moving drama that touches on the problem of race relations in our society. She plays a young, gifted ballet student whose world is shattered by the sudden death of her divorced mother. Sent to live with her estranged father, an underachieving musician living in a racially mixed Chicago neighborhood, she encounters people and situations far removed from those of her sheltered suburban upbringing. The charismatic young African-American actor Sean Patrick Thomas plays a bright classmate whose promising future is clouded by his association with a street gang. Director Thomas Carter Metro devotes much of the running time to Julia's experiences as a minority in a mostly minority high school, where she becomes gradually immersed in hip-hop culture and eventually falls in love with Thomas, much to the chagrin of his friends. The perils and pitfalls of interracial romance are explored with unusual honesty and sensitivity, but Save the Last Dance isn't just about that: It's also about following your dream, however difficult that might be, and realizing your potential through hard work and dedication. Director Thomas provides a feature-length commentary for the DVD, which also includes a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, cast interviews, and a music video for the song "Crazy."
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
This slick teen romance is standard formulaic fare from MTV Films with a cliché story and likable leads. A squeaky-clean tale of an interracial couple, this movie is an example of marketing to kids with a combination of pop music, dance, and romance. At least it benefits from the acting abilities of the two stars, Julia Stiles as Sara and Sean Patrick Thomas as Derek. The romance is convincing and appealing throughout their courtship of dance lessons, and that is good enough. Unfortunately, the inner city that suburban princess Sara must adjust to is laughably fabricated, like a freshly painted Disneyland version of a slum. This lightweight approach works to keep the events on the surface just enough to dish out the racial-equality message without getting too dramatic about it. Director Thomas Carter (Swing Kids) tries real hard to convey this message, especially during the inevitable dance-sequence conclusion. To drive the point home, Sara's hip-hop/ballet audition is crosscut with the gunplay of Derek's thug friend, even though he is a minor character and irrelevant to the plot at that point. Overall, Save the Last Dance offers good, fluffy entertainment for preteen audiences.
Washington Post
It's far from tepid teen fare, thanks largely to the sweet chemistry between up-and-comer Sean Patrick Thomas and leading lady Julia Stiles. Rita Kempley
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
The setup promises cliches, but the development is intelligent, the characters are more complicated than we expect, and the ending doesn't tie everything up in a predictable way.

It's far from tepid teen fare, thanks largely to the sweet chemistry between up-and-comer Sean Patrick Thomas and leading lady Julia Stiles. Rita Kempley
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/6/2001
  • UPC: 097361566139
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julia Stiles Sara Johnson
Sean Patrick Thomas Derek
Kerry Washington Chenille
Fredro Starr Malakai
Terry Kinney Roy
Bianca Lawson Nikki
Vince Green Snookie
Garland Whitt Kenny
Elizabeth Oas Diggy
Technical Credits
Thomas Carter Director
Duane Adler Original Story, Screenwriter
Peter E. Berger Editor
Lisa Campbell Asst. Director
Marie Cantin Co-producer
Robert W. Cort Producer
Randy Duncan Choreography
Paul Bryan Eads Production Designer
Cheryl Edwards Screenwriter
Fatima Choreography
Robbie Greenberg Cinematographer
Sandra Hernandez Costumes/Costume Designer
Diane Hughes Art Director
Mark Isham Score Composer
Craig Jackson Set Decoration/Design
Avy Kaufman Casting, Costumes/Costume Designer
Scarlett Lacey Associate Producer
David Madden Producer
Michael McQuarn Musical Direction/Supervision
David Obermeyer Sound/Sound Designer
Tricia Schneider Set Decoration/Design
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Save the Last Dance

    Save the Last dance is about Sara who after her mother had a car accident while driving to see Sara at an audition for Julliard, refuses to dance ballet again because she feels she is the reason her mother died,She moves to Chicago's gritty south side,joins her estranged father and goes to a school where the people there are mostly black students,so a white girl in a predominately black neighborhood, Sara feels put of place till she is befriended by a black classmate Chenille and her handsome and talented brother,Derek.Soon sparks fly between Derek and Sara when he helps her rediscover her love for ballet but opposition from Derek's friends grows and Derek and Sara must fight to stay true to each other.A real inspiring show,Though there is harsh reality such as gangs,fights.I totally recommend it to fans of Step Up,Honey or any dance movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best of them all

    This movie that I saw was great because it shows you the real life between the diffrent races at the school the girl is goin to after her mother died and she moved to her fathers house. She met a guy who she liked and who tought her to dance and they both went out to with each other. The movie shows how the guy and the girl do things to be with each other with waterver it takes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a must have for your dvd collection

    I'm not understanding what the first review is stating. There was not much nudity in this film. This movie was an excellent inspiration to anyone that wants to accomplish their dreams, but has doubts because of a tragedy in their lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Exotic display of skin disgusting!

    I think it was just terrible how what you think is a dance movie turns out to be an all out full fledged pornographic film. Horrific, absolutely horrific!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Steppes To The Last Dance

    This movie was excellent. The plot and drama was captivating. Sean Patrick Thomas delivered a fantastic performance, and Julia Stiles did pretty well. There were some scenes that irked me, however; scenes that obviously showed Julia Stiles is not that great of a dancer. For instance, ''Sarah Johnson'' did not turn her palms inwards as she was doing her chainés in her room. And as she was in her Pointe class, there was a very short scene of her full body. The ballet teacher had said, ''...and stretch through the toes...'' Sarah's foot was not pointed and her arabesque was low for a dancer who was aspiring for Julliard. These are just the little details I see, being a dancer, and though they seem insignificant, these details are the difference between a dancer with technical training, and someone who has either just started, or has not had very much training. Overall, this is an amazing movie, and I suggest it to anyone. There are happy scenes, sad scenes, dramatic scenes, and there are scenes that make you want to bang your head against your remote and say, ''Did she just do that? I can't believe she just did that!'' (esp. when Sarah was dancing at Steppes for the first time. That was bad, but of course, it was choreographed to be like that.) Save The Last Dance is a great movie and it deals with life and growing up in the ''real world.''

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Save the last Dance

    this movie was da bomb movie!! every one should see it!!! plus sean patrick thomas looks really great in this movie!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Save The Last Dance Kicks Butt In The Box Office Top List

    Save The Last Dance kicks butt. Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas make this a rockin dance drama that will lighten the dance spirit in anyone. Stiles gives her best performance ever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME!

    This movie rocked! It inspired me to dance more often. It 's one of my favorite movies!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best

    This movie was the best movie of all time. I love it so much iv'e got the dvd and i watch it over and over again. Sean Patrik Thomas is so hot, he is a good actor. Julia Stiles is a good actress.This movie was GREAT.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best film ever!

    It is the best film i have ever seen i really like it because i am into all the dance films!! after i saw save the last dance it got me more into dance!! the film is excellent and is the best ever!!i think nis has a good story line and the cast is gorg i.e sean patrik thomas oh my god! The dance moves are amazing!! the very last dance is an excellent finish to the film! I want a save the last dance 2 to come out!! thanks!!i nwould reccomend it to anyone who enjoys a great film!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My favorite movie.

    This movie was so cool. Sara (Julia Stiles) worked really hard to achieve her dreams and Derik (Sean Patrick Thomas) supported her all the way. This movie is what inspired me to start dancing again. I LOVED IT!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    FANTASTIC MOVIE!

    This movie is inspiring to all ages. The great chemistry between Sean and Julia shows that love conquers all despite racial and physical differences and social unacceptance. The movie is accompanied with the best music with every song placed in all the right moments. The amalgamation of the dance genres is most striking and the overall setting and issues that the characters deal with is very realistic and eye opening. Overall a great movie, endures your interest throughout the whole movie!! Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Save The Last Dance Rocks!!!!...DUH!!!!!!!!

    I think this movie is inspiring to everyone who watches it. It shows that if you try you can acheive your dreams. And the dance moves work with the songs. The chemistry rocks between Juila Stiles (Sarah) and Sean Patrick Tomas (Derik).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Save the Last Dance... Da Bomb!

    This movie was the bomb! I loved it. It has everything! I liked everything in the movie, especially Sean, he is soooooo hot! I can't imagine anybody not liking this movie. If anybody doesn't like it then you better take it up with me and I'll knock some sense into you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best

    there ant much u can say bout dis accept absolty brill is brought laughter & tears to my eyes it is truly a film not 2 b missed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SAVE THE LAST DANCE, THE INSPIRING MOVIE

    To me, I think this was the best movie I have ever seen, because of the point this movie focused on, and about two teenagers achieveing their dreams and to being faithful to their relationship! It inspired me in every single way! I started watching this movie every since I got home, and I watched it everyday during my vacation on DVD! Why, because it's a ''SLAMMING!'' movie! Two strangers sharing their love for dancing eventually falls in love, and faces over their friends just to be together! Such strong emotions! I don't know how to explain this anymore, but I think it's a great movie because I myself loves hip-hop music, dance, and inspiring, achieving movies! That's partly one of my reasons I liked this movie so much! NOTE:(Julia Stiles), (Sean Patrick Thomas),(Kerry Washington), (Bianca Lawson), Freddro Starr) are great, and amazing actresses, so you should definitely buy this DVD and start enjoying!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is the best movie!

    I liked this movie because it had a really hott guy in it and it showed that it dosnt matter if you are white or black you can still be friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Save the Last Copy!!!

    This movie was excellent!!! The story focuses around a high-school prima ballerina who moves into the Chicago ghetto to live in with her musician father after her mother dies in a car wreck. Sarah feels responsible, because her mother had been on the way to her Jillard's dance try out. The story revolves around her emotional battles and the controversial issue of her relationship with Darian, an African-American hip-hop dancer. I really liked the dance choreography in this movie, especially the final dance. I also apprieciated how many of the movie's morals hold true to life. Save the Last Dance is definitly an all-time favrite movie for me!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Save The Last Dance...A WINNER!

    I enjoyed Save the Last dance because it is dance related, and it shows you the theme of the movie, that color or race don't matter,and to let you true colors shine through!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2001

    refreshing and intelligent....this movies touches on the real positive values of holding on to your dreams thru hard work and dedication

    Demonstrates how our choices are just that...our own choices!.... (in many cases)good story, romance, excellent music, dance skills, etc.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews