SAVE THE LAST DANCE

Damaged Role Models

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: January 12, 2001

Starring: Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick
Thomas, Terry Kinney, Fredro
Starr, & Bianca Lawson

Genre: Romantic Drama

Audience: Teenagers & adults

Rating: Not Yet Rated

Runtime: 110 minutes

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Director: Thomas Carter

Executive Producer:

Producer: Robert W. Cort & David Madden

Writer: Duane Adler & Cheryl Edwards

Address Comments To:

Sherry Lansing, Chairman
Motion Pictures Group
Paramount Pictures
A Paramount Communications Company
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000
Website: www.paramount.com

Content:

(RoRo, B, Pa, Ho, LLL, VV, SS, N, AA, M) Romantic worldview with some moral, pagan & homosexual elements; over 55 obscenities of which some are heard on soundtrack, 5 profanities, & some vulgarities; depicted corpse of woman after implied car accident with some blood, girl’s toes are badly blistered with sores, depicted girls fighting, depicted boys fighting, punching & kicking, drive-by shootings, man is shot, rear of car explodes, & threats of violence; implied fornication, many references to fornication, one to masturbation, man grabs woman’s rear, woman grabs man’s crotch, man calls himself a “c**tchie crook,” many scenes of sensuous dancing & kissing; some revealing outfits, stripping; underage alcohol use; and, some racial tension & blackmail.

Summary:

In SAVE THE LAST DANCE, a middle class girl dealing with the death of her mother finds herself in a new, all-black high school and exposed to entirely new surroundings. Despite the interesting story idea, this politically correct story is further marred by plenty of foul language and other questionable elements.

Review:

In SAVE THE LAST DANCE, a white middle-class girl deals with the death of her mother in a vastly different environment when she moves in with her dad and attends an all black high school in Chicago.

Sara (Julia Stiles) still remembers the day her mother died. She had insisted her mother come to her tryouts for the prestigious Juliard dance school, and it was on her way there that her mother died. Since that horrible day, Sara has never again put on her ballet slippers, despite her talent.

Having moved to Chicago to live with the father she barely knows, Sara finds herself attending an all black high school. Fortunately, a girl named Nikki befriends her, as does Nikki's brother, Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas), who is an aspiring pediatrician. As Sara hangs out with the group more and more, she is brought into the world of hip hop, and soon Derek is teaching her all the moves and putting a few on her as well. Eventually, her past resurfaces, and the emotional responsibility she feels for her mother’s death and the flak she’s receiving from others concerning her interracial relationship with Derek become overwhelming. She overcomes her guilt, however, and again tries for Juliard, and also gets a second chance at love.

SAVE THE LAST DANCE is a movie that is often unrealistic and wavering in its message. Though the acting is “cute” at times, these few touching moments cannot save an entire script. The story is a good idea that was carried out in a way that comes across as synthetic, rather than bold.

These attributes alone do not ruin the movie, but the amount of foul language lowers the bar as well. Regardless of the setting, foul language is not an excuse for not being able to act angry. Eventually, these obscenities will become tame, and then what will incompetent actors do when it comes to scenes depicting anger? This and situations of implied fornication, underage drinking and other elements only worsen the movie’s moral credibility and stop the young actors from becoming really good role models.

In Brief:

In SAVE THE LAST DANCE, a middle class girl dealing with the death of her mother finds herself in entirely new surroundings at an all-black high school. Fortunately she is befriended by a girl and gains new friends, including the girl’s brother, who later becomes her boyfriend. However, things get difficult when the guilt of her mother’s death and the flak from her interracial relationship begin to surface. She overcomes her guilt, however, and again tries for Juliard, while getting a second chance at romantic love.

SAVE THE LAST DANCE is a movie that is often unrealistic and wavering in its message. Though the acting is “cute” at times, these few touching moments cannot save an entire script. The story is carried out in a way that comes across as synthetic, rather than bold. The characters, though sometimes funny, were not always consistent. This only adds to the confusion instead of the drama. These attributes alone do not ruin the movie, but the amount of foul language lowers the bar as well. Situations of implied fornication, underage drinking and other elements also damage the movie’s moral credibility and stop the actors from becoming good role models