When Sara's (Stiles) mother dies her balletic dreams are cut short and she moves in with her estranged father in Chicago. Her passion for dance is rekindled when she meets Chenille (Washington) at her nearly all black school and falls for her hip hop loving bro.
Appropriately enough for an MTV production, 'Save The Last Dance' is best summed up by the music. It's a score of two parts: the many and varied hot booty dance numbers, and Mark Isham's cloying and intrusive score that tends to turn up in the more sickeningly preening teen moments.
This two-step is repeated elsewhere: while the performances are hip, and the mainly black high school is refreshingly clear of the guns 'n' gangs cliches, the plot is a hybrid of every crappy teen-dance-romance ever made.
Why, here's the audition from 'Flashdance', the forbidden romance of 'Dirty Dancing', the bitchy rivalry of 'Fame' etc. etc. Not only that, having a white girl (the charming Stiles) act as our guide to this foreign world of black music and exotic dancing is just a touch patronising, no?
Patronising hybrid of a myriad of other teen movies. Don't bother, just watch them instead.