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Save the Last Dance

Save the Last Dance

4.6 51
Director: Thomas Carter

Cast: Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas, Kerry Washington


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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


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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Commentary by director Thomas Carter; The making of Save the Last Dance; The writers' story; In Setp: The Choreographers' Story; What It Takes; Save the Last Dance - A retrospective; Music video - "Crazy" by K-Ci & JoJo; 2 deleted scenes; Sneak peek at Save the Last Dance 2; Save the Last Dance 2 trailer

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

Scene Index

Disc #1 --Save the Last Dance [Special Collector's Edition]
1. A Few Minor Adjustments [:29]
2. New School [8:36]
3. Meet Chenille [:11]
4. Buried Talents [3:28]
5. Stepps [4:50]
6. Dance With Me [2:13]
7. Lesson Number One [4:48]
8. Malakai Threat [5:52]
9. Dr. Reynolds in the House [:22]
10. The Ballet [11:43]
11. Getting in Shape [4:28]
12. Oil and Milk [:05]
13. Madness and Mayhem [:46]
14. Two Different Worlds [4:31]
15. A Second Chance [3:02]
16. Walk Away [:44]
17. You Can Do It [6:27]
18. Main Squeeze Night [2:47]


Customer Reviews

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Save the Last Dance 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Julia Styles was really inspiring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally think this movie was very inspiring. It help show that it not always about black and white but it's about following your dreams. And I thank the director and the famous actors and actress Julia and Thomas. Your the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
save the last dance was and awsome movie and really played out my beliefs on interracial dating! it expresses in a very good way so that young kids and teens can understand that it is ok to be atracted and have a relationship with someone of a different race if you love them because the color of your skin doesnt mean anything!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best movie I have ever seen in my WHOLE LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this movie is the best move in the world!You have to whatch it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most people I've come in contact with feel the same way that this was an 'entertaining film'. It was not oscar material but in the end everyone liked the film to their suprise. It is a feel good film that in some ways is a modern day ''Dirty Dancing'' with a hip hop twist. Love overcomes adversity and you just want to get up and dance at the end. All in all its worth seeing with fresh faces and some good music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was da bomb movie!! every one should see it!!! plus sean patrick thomas looks really great in this movie!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent movie, the actors put on a great performace. A MUST see!
Guest More than 1 year ago
save the last dance is the best movie i've ever seen i LOVE it.... i think it is really inspiring.... it teaches you to follow your dreams and it shows it doesn't matter what race or color but you can love anyone~!~!!~~!~~! HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best movie I have ever seen. It is teen spirited and is wonderful. All the actors and actresses did a great job. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE AND RECOMMENDED BUY IT URSELF!!! TWO THUMBS UP FOR THIS MOVIE!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I saw this movie I was only expecting a fluffy teen movie but this was one of the greatest movies I have seen ever. The acting was terrific the story was realistic it was just wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I used to tell my friend that there is no true love in this world.But SAVE THE LAST DANCE proved me wrong. People there is true love and if you wanna see it or feel it you must watch this movie it is the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best movie I have ever seen. It is teen spirited and is wonderful. All the actors and actresses did a great job. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!