2001 Certificate: 12


Julia Stiles is the aspiring ballerina who has to find new groove when she moves to Chicago's hip-hop-happy south side. Thankfully, she overcomes the social and racial tension by throwing herself into a mixed paso double with school coolster Sean Patrick Thomas. Smart teen flick that borrows a few moves from Flashdance, Dirty Dancing, Fame, and even Boys N The Hood.


  • Thomas Carter


  • Sean Patrick Thomas

  • Julia Stiles

  • Kerry Washington

  • Terry Kinney


Sara (Stiles) is a white, middle-class, suburban teen whose dreams of becoming a professional ballerina are shattered by the death of her mother.

As a result of this tragedy, she is forced to move from her quiet Midwestern town to her father's ghetto apartment on the south side of Chicago.

Upon arrival, she enrols in a predominantly black high school and finds it vastly different, both racially and culturally, from anything she's experienced before.

But when she meets Derek (Thomas), a popular black student with a passion for hip hop, her repressed ambition and sorrow are released through a revitalised interest in the expressive power of dance.

Although they come from two different worlds and two different cultures, for all their differences they share one fervent passion - dance.

Their friendship and mutual interest in dancing leads to a passionate romance.

But these two young people must overcome not only their differences but also the opposition of their friends and families if their romance is going to survive.

Save The Last Dance takes us back to the Eighties, bringing together a whole assortment of dance movies.

We are reminded of the audition from Flashdance, the forbidden romance in Dirty Dancing, the bitchy rivalry of Fame and, added to the mix, a touch of danger from Boyz N The Hood.

At times this film can be somewhat predictable but, nevertheless, Save The Last Dance is rescued by some smart performances and pulls off the rare trick of tackling some thorny racial issues without becoming blandly moralistic.

Dalia Levy