Save the Last DanceJanuary 12, 2001
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.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 5.9/10 (25,617 voted)
Critic's Score: 53/100
Stars: Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas, Kerry Washington
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.
Writers: Duane Adler, Duane Adler
Sean Patrick Thomas
(as Artel Jarod Walker)
Woman on Train
The Only Person You Need To Be Is Yourself.
Release Date: 12 January 2001
Filming Locations: CTA Rail System, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $27,526,443
(14 January 2001)
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.
When Derek and Malakai leave Stepps through the back door after Malakai's fight, the door is alternately open/closed between shots.
So you're not down with the things he does, but you're still down with him? That makes perfect sense. I understand.
He's my friend, Sara. You don't have to understand.
Clichéd, but better than I expected it to be
When Sara's mother is killed in a car accident she comes to live in a
predominately black area in Chicago. She is befriended by black Chenille
and starts to fall for her brother Derek. Derek teaches her the latest
hip-hop dances to help her fit in and together they begin to fall for each
other. However a white girl seeing a clever black man is never going to be
popular and the couple must overcome many obstacles to see their dreams and
be true to themselves.
Did someone say `a black Dirty Dancing?' Essentially that's what this is,
although the story is naturally a bit more urban than that film. The story
is about overcoming to reach your dreams, and it does it quite well better
than I expected. The love story is nice without being too romanticised.
The obstacles are the usual things in an `urban' film the challenge of
mixed race relationships, the temptation to back up your crew instead of
getting out etc. These are quite cliched but are still well
My main problem came with the strength of black culture in the film
every black person (even in a poor area) talks like a gangsta and not
everyone says `aiiiirite' and why did Sara only become accepted when she
started to imitate black culture and speak in that way. It may be
realistic, but I felt that Sara should have been allowed to be herself
rather than be seen to be assimilated into the hip-hop culture (I don't mean
that she shouldn't have got involved with the scene but did she have to
lose part of herself to get there?). However these are minor side issues
that many people won't even think about.
The cast are good for MTV teens. Julia Stiles is cool and Thomas is cute
and charming. The rest of the cast fall into so many black stereotypes we
have gangsta friend, baby mothers galore, useless baby father, jealous
bitchy ex-girlfriends etc. However they are just what you expect so I
wasn't too upset. Fredro Starr was cool as Malakai even if the character
was just one big hood cliché.
The soundtrack is hot and the dance scenes are sexy I wish I could do it!
They are much more enjoyable than Dirty Dancing's scenes although some day
this will feel dated too! Overall I expected another piece of MTV teen tat,
but I was pleasantly surprised by a story that, despite being ridden with
clichés, is actually very involving and enjoyable.