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SAVE THE LAST DANCE
USA: Paramount Pictures
UK: UIP (UK)
Cast: Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas, Terry Kinney, Fredro Starr, Vince Green, Bianca Lawson, Marcello Robinson, Kerry Washington, Karimah Westbrook, Garland Whitt
Director: Thomas Carter
UK: 112 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and brief drug references
UK Certificate: 12 contains single use of strong language, and moderate violence
USA Release Date: 12 January 2001
UK Release Date: 30 March 2001
They come from two different worlds, two different cultures. Yet for all their differences, they share one fervent passion - dance! Echoing both SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and DIRTY DANCING, SAVE THE LAST DANCE is a romantic drama set in the gritty world of urban America
Sara (Julia Stiles) is a white, middleclass, suburban teen who sparks a clash of cultures, both ethnic and artistic, when she enrols in a predominantly black Chicago high school following her mother's death.
Growing up in a small town in Illinois, Sara loves ballet and dreams of going to Juilliard. When her mother dies in a car crash, however, she abandons her hopes and joins her long-absent father, Roy (Terry Kinney), a musician who lives in Chicago's South Side. There, she begins classes at her new school, an urban campus vastly different, both racially and culturally, from anything she's experienced before.
Still struggling with the loss of her mother, she finds solace when she is befriended by Chenille (Kerry Washington), a black unwed teenage mother whose younger brother is the handsome and gifted Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas). One of school's most popular students and the crown prince of a local hip-hop hangout called the Stepps Club, Derek guides Sara in the culture of hip-hop. And dance leads to romance.
Sara's father, however, can't accept his daughter's relationship with her black classmate, which the school's black women, particularly Nikki (Bianca Lawson), Derek's old flame, also resent. Derek also faces opposition to his new romance, particularly from his boyhood friend, Malakai (Fredro Starr), a violent gangbanger who is afraid he will lose his friendship with Derek. As the school year progresses, the couple finds that their affection and devotion for each other could ultimately threaten Derek's hopes for a better life and Sara's rediscovery of her dreams.
A romantic musical drama, SAVE THE LAST DANCE stars Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas and is directed by three-time Emmy winner Thomas Carter. Robert W Cort and David Madden are the producers of the film, which is written by Duane Adler and Cheryl Edwards.