Review Date: January 06, 2001
Director: Thomas Carter
Writer: Duane Adler and Cheryl Edwards
Producers: Robert W. Cort, David Madden
Julia Stiles as Sara Johnson
Sean Patrick Thomas as Derek Reynolds
Kerry Washington as Chenille Reynolds
Sure, there is this whole "I gotta make it as a dancer" undertone going on, which will likely keep the teens interested throughout, but believe it or not, this film is much deeper than that. In fact, I think the trailer is selling it too much like a simple hip-hop teen flick, when really it's actually quite touching. And yes, the whole black/white relationship thang is also handled pretty well, in my opinion. We see both sides of the issue. Granted, a couple of the characters were a little stereotypical, like the super-bitch at school and the gang-banger who can never seem to get out of trouble, but then again, there are actually people like that in the world, too. The film also might've wanted to cut out one of its few "side stories", like the whole "sister having the child without the boyfriend sticking around" thing, but that would only have been to trim some of the picture's runtime, which went way past the general benchmark for these types of movies. In the end, the better part of the film's story and personalities captured enough of my attention for me to care about the movie as a whole, and to wish most of the characters nothing but goodness in the end. Mind you, I could see how some people might dismiss it based on its predictability alone, but for me, the overall design clicked.
Note to Julia Stiles: Me thinks it's time for you to move beyond the teen flicks and try to grab hold of some juicier parts. Don't follow the Freddie Prinze Jr. route, girl!