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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this film!!!!
I have to say how surprised I was after I had finished watching this film, I honestly did not expect it to be as good as it was! It's a classic formula of girl meets guy, guy helps girl through hard time but will it end happily ever after?! There are a couple of crucial moments in the film when you know it could all go completely wrong and end tragically but you'll have...
Published on 16 Feb 2003 by littleshrimpette

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, but well done throughout
This film sees Julia Stiles in her normal earlier film role, the talented yet somewhat reserved character who hides either a striking beauty or inner talent that is reluctantly (but eventually stunningly) brought to the fore for all to see.

She plays a young ballet dancer called who's mother dies in a crash going to see her audition which she fails to impress...
Published on 3 Feb 2008 by Malcolm Clarke


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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED IT, BUT * * *, 13 Jan 2005
By 
F. Sweet (Midwestern USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Save The Last Dance [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
"Save the Last Dance" tries to squeeze inner city violence, single parenthood and unresolved guilt feelings into a story about a teenage, ex-ballerina who finds a new energy when she's forced to leave the comfortable white suburbs for a life on the grittier Chicago south side. The result works much better than you might expect.
"... Dance" stumbles into a few too many subplots and a couple of cliched characters along the way. But it also makes some strong points about contemporary attitudes toward interracial romances. In Sydney Poitier's now seemingly quaint "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" the idea of an African-American man dating a white woman still had shock value. But "... Dance" asks us how far have we come, and how much further do we have to go.
The movie begins with Sara (Julia Stiles), an ex-dancer who once dreamed of attending Juilliard. She still grieves over the death of her mother and struggles to make a new home for herself in the slum-like apartment of her estranged dad (Terry Kinney, whose character seems so potentially rich, it's a shame it's not more developed). One of the very few white students in her new school, Sara is immediately out of place, especially after she's defeated in a debate in her English class by the well-read Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas). Eventually, the two overcome their differences thanks to their love of dance.
The screenplay mercifully sidesteps the cliché trap of dwelling on Sara's ignorance of hip-hop culture: Clearly, this isn't a film about how the out-of-it white girl learned to conquor the moves. Rather, Sara finds her niche and footing rather quickly instead of turning into a clueless nerd.
Who would believe that Stiles needed rescuing? Her face looks fragile, but her eyes show she has a keen understanding of everything around her. At only 18 years of age, the actress projects insights of someone much older. Stiles is well matched with Thomas, who almost has the presence of a young Sidney Poitier. Also his elastic body is like a young Bobby Brown. Thomas is shorter than Stiles -- another interesting choice by the filmmaker. But the characters seem to be on the same plane intellectually and in terms of their goals: Dedrek has his heart set on attending Georgetown to become a doctor.
One great moment that demolishes a stereotype is when Derek tells Sara of his wanting to become a pediatrician because he likes kids. Sara gingerly asks him if he has any of his own kids. "No!" Derek replies, slightly offended. "Do you?!"
Most of her classmates don't see Sara as a threat, at first. But things change when she and Derek begin to fall in love. Even Derek's sister Chenille (Kerry Washington), who's been Sara's loyal friend up until this point, becomes a bit chilly.
Chenille is bitter about the careless attitudes of so many of the men she's known. She's already had a child with a boyfriend who barely takes the time to drop by and see his son and her now. But Chenille's proud of her brother's achievements and ambitions, and becomes upset that he's attracted to a white woman. In a scathing speech that she will later regret, she lays everything out for Sara, expressing things that a lot of women in her situation may feel but never get to say it. Sara becomes just another white girl who thinks she can come into the 'hood and steal (from the black women) the best man that she finds.
Derek's friends accuse him of "snowflaking" and warn him that it won't last. Alas, we never find out how Sara's dad feels about Sara dating Derek, but she doesn't seem to be in a hurry to introduce the two men. Maybe that's supposed to tell us that there might be a problem. We're left guissing. When Sara tries to discuss with Derek the controversy they've caused she says, "We spend more time defending our relationship than we spend having a relationship." Director Carter approaches Sara and Derek's relationship with uncertainty. It's a smart approach to take in a nation that endorses diversity more readily in public than it does at home.
"Save the Last Dance" has a fair amount of choreography. Stiles and Thomas seem to perform most of their own dances, and they're both pretty good at it (although body double dance pros take over the complicated moves). Unlike various breakdancing extravaganzas of the mid-1980s, this movie doesn't come to a stand still when the music stops playing. Even by taking the dancing out of the film, there'd still be left a well-acted, thought-provoking story. Few musicals can accomplish that.
Aside from weakness in its too many sub-plot and a few clichés here and there, "Save the Last Dance" does many other things right. The complicated friendship between Sara and charismatic Chenille is nicely resolved at the very end under the closing credits, when it's the girls who are dancing together, joyous in their shared love of music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Movie, 7 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This high charged movie keeps the watcher interested throughout. it is a gripping, emotional and very moving story about life long dreams, racial prejudices, the wonder of dance and how love can conquor all...again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best film ever!!!, 3 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Great story line. Great actors. Great music. Everything about this film is excellent. Julia Stiles plays a brilliant role as Sara the teenage dancer who wants to quit her dancing because of the death of her mother. I love this film so much and would just love to watch it over and over!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic movie, 2 Aug 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Save The Last Dance [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I was surprised by this movie, as I really enjoyed it! I thought being mainly hip hop based that I wouldn't be able to really get into it, but I did! I started out watching the movie as a non hip hop fan...but ended it as one! That to me is a sign of a great movie - That it gets under your skin so much that it makes you actually enjoy something totally new and different.
I also really praise the acting. Julie Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas were amazing, in fact the whole cast was. They left me with no doubt that this was a genuine scene, one where hip hop ruled.
The plot itself was also brilliant, not too thin on the ground, but also not too complicated. I wont ruin it for those of you who haven't seen this movie yet, but the parallel plots/little twists at the end really helped make the film for me.
This film made me laugh, cry AND want to get up and dance. And trust me, it takes a LOT to make me wanna dance so bad! So I highly recommend it to ALL.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Fantastic!, 20 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Whatever you do, don't miss this movie. As soon as you start watching it your eyes will be glued to the screen. Its not your usual run-of the mill teen movie - it has realistic characters (including Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thommas), a smoothe storyline and a great setting. Even if you hate Ballet theres so much more going on for you to concentrate on that you won't realy notice (such as shootings, bitchiness and the occasional Culture clash). Everyone will have something to talk about after watching this - it's fab!
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3.0 out of 5 stars not a bad viewing, 7 Nov 2008
This review is from: Save The Last Dance [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Everyone had gone on about this film for years telling me how brilliant it was so I decided I'd beter watch it! I have to say I have seen better films involving dance or someone coming from a bad background and finally 'making it'. It was a good experience and the music was great but I'd much rather watch something like 'Center Stage' or even the second 'Dirty Dancing' again and again than this more than once.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM..., 1 Jan 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is a well acted, somewhat sanitized and idealized story of a talented teeage girl who, on the cusp of achieving her dream, loses everything, only to find it again in a way no one would have predicted. It is a story about attaining one's dreams and the process by which they may become a reality. This is a well acted, though predictable, coming of age tale which can be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Here, the talented Julia Stiles plays the role of Sara, a teenager who happens to be a talented ballet dancer. Auditioning for the famous Julliard School while angry at her single parent mother for being late to her audition, she fumbles her audition. She finishes, only to discover that her mother, in her haste to make Sara's audition, died in a tragic car accident on her way. Blaming herself for her mother's death, Sara gives up ballet.
Her pleasant life suddenly snatched from her, Sara is forced to go live with her estranged dad, Roy, wonderfully acted by Terry Tinney. A down and out jazz musician who lives on Chicago's tough south side, Roy does the best he can to make up for lost time. Sara, seemingly undaunted by her seamy new surroundings, enters a predominantly black high school, where she is befriended by fellow student, Chanelle, a single mom with a hunky, intelligent brother, Derek, played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who is well cast in the role. Bound for Georgetown University, Derek hopes to one day become a doctor.
Through her blossoming relationship with Derek, Sara begins to dance again. It is through his encouragement and nurturing that she regains the confidence to follow her dream and audition once again for Julliard. It is also through his commitment to Sara that Derek finds the courage to tell his gangsta wanna be friend that he wants no further involvement in his friend's nefarious activities, before it is too late for him.
Sara's audition is a show stopping dance routine that is the icing on this enjoyable, coming of age film. It is a fitting testament to hope and to the power of love.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I love this film, 15 July 2014
This review is from: Save The Last Dance [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I love this film. It's a fairly well known plot- traditional ballet dancer meets male hip hop dancer, begins to blend dance styles and romance ensues. (sounds a lot like Step Up, however this movie did it first!).
I really enjoyed Julia's performance as Kat in 10 things I hate about you (another must see if you like teen romances!), and she doesn't disappoint here either. Sean Patrick Thomas is also a great male lead, good actor, good chemistry, and beautiful face.
If you enjoy dance movies (step up, street dance, honey, dirty dancing etc.) you'll probably like this but what makes this movie stand out from other fluffy teen movies out there, is the well developed, flawed characters and good acting, its a little more serious and a little darker. There's a little more to the story here, compared to a lot of the recent dance flicks where the plots and character development are very lackluster and the only real reason to watch is to see the dancing. This film is still worth a watch even if you're not crazy about dance or a dancer yourself (which I'm not). It's a little old, but you can still relate to the characters, and the film still feels very relevant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
This review is from: Save The Last Dance [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
have always loved this film. anyone into dance films etc should deffo get this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 3 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Save The Last Dance [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The item came very promptly, so very pleased and also it was just as it said, brand new, so, happy.
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Save The Last Dance [DVD] [2001]
Save The Last Dance [DVD] [2001] by Thomas Carter (DVD - 2001)
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