"Save the Last Dance" (2001) She's a white ballerina, devastated by the death of her mother and an unsuccessful Juilliard tryout. He's a black scholar from the 'hood, on his way to medical school via Georgetown University. This film is a classic "from different worlds" tale... more starring Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas, but it has one refreshing twist. Stiles' Sara isn't a rich girl. In fact, she sleeps on her jazzman father's couch.
Sara and Derek can't resist each other, and we buy it. They're both adorable. But they each have problems to solve. Sara needs to get over her mother's death and rededicate herself to her dancing dreams. Derek needs to break away from his friends, who don't aspire to anything more than street thuggery. It's one of those movies that could have had a tragic "West Side Story" ending, but it doesn't. And we're glad.