I would never bust a cap in your ass
There are times in this movie when I can't imagine a girl more white than Julie Stiles. Did they try to shoot here as pasty-faced as possible to contrast her against her mostly black co-stars? I don't think they'd have needed to go through the effort.
What we have is a cross of a dance movie with the fish in urban water movie. Julia plays Sara, the formerly less urban ballerina. Sean Patrick Thomas is Derek Reynolds, the smart black man with the moves that win her heart.
The plot doesn't quite wrap up in a perfect bow, but that's almost a relief in some ways as I think about it. There are three main thrusts: the survival of Sara and Derek's relationship, Sara's acceptance as a minority in black urban youth culture, and Sara's dance future - summed up in an audition to enter Julliard. Each plotline twists around the others pretty well. Bits feel contrived, especially at the end, but most of the moments presented to us feel real.
The real question here is: Do we care? There are some stumbles along the way in this department. Each character alternates between a kind of confidence and a kind of vulnerability, and the changes aren't always explained well enough. The feeling of manipulation is pretty small - and very few movies don't try to manipulate the audience - the trick is just to not be obvious about it.
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