I’m pretty sure that the only thing sadder than wasting valuable bytes on a download of “Save the Last Dance,” is opening the finished file, only to discover that the downloaded movie is in fact “Save the Last Dance 2.” This “sequel” of the classic hip-hop meets ballet on dangerous urban streets that are of course the setting of the eventual drive-by shooting, seems to me to be no sequel at all. If my definition of a sequel is correct, there has to be a continuation of a story. “Save the Last Dance 2” is instead the product of some bored MTV employees who felt like spicing things up by creating a film almost identical to the original version, with the only variation being the lead actress’s occasional slip into her native Polish. If I recall correctly, Julia Stiles’s portrayal of the ballet dancer with an edge did not inspire audiences to wander down Second Avenue in search of pierogies.
Yes, I suppose it is technically a continuation in that Sarah Johnson has made it all the way to Julliard, and as we learn in the amazingly awkward intro during which she talks “openly” to the camera, she and her boyfriend “decided to see other people because he’s off studying somewhere (?) and I’m in New York.” This statement is immediately followed by, “My ankles are a little weak.” Obvi. But what keeps tripping me up, is the fact that MTV’s film is simply a less glamorized retelling of the first. Same plot line, same internal struggles, oh, but instead of the evil “Nikki” we have “Candy.” And I think we can all agree that Candy is a much more exciting name!
In any case, I spent my train ride home to the apple orchards of Connecticut watching this masterpiece, and its ultimate effect on me was identical to the effect of the original movie. I desperately need to take a hip-hop class, because soon, very soon, my abridged version of the Harlem shake will fail to impress and mystify. Hey Syl, want to go rent the “You Got Served” instructional DVD with me? …for the third time?