OH MY GOD. I forgot how amazing this movie is. I just watched it on VHS and my lord, so many amazing moments. First of all her hair. Not only is it frizzy and dirty blonde with plastic clips right at the temples (what’s up 2001!!!) and LOTS of braid action, but at some point in the movie she starts doing this half cornrow thing. I don’t know why she can’t be a good dancer with white girl hair, but it was a change that I guess needed to be made. Oh, and that’s not even mentioning when Chenille (Kerry Washington!!) re-purposes her gap cardigan as a headwrap. That and some gold hoops, and Julia Stiles is ready for hip hop.
Moving down from hair, we come to clothes. Sarah (Julia) has a sort of tight top baggy pants thing going on. It’s like a skinny girl optical illusion. They’re also in Chicago in the winter, so we see some huge coats and lots of gloves. It can be a little jarring, like when Sarah and Derrick make out for the first time and she sort of strokes his cheek but it looks like a cream colored puppet is attacking his face. The baggy pants come in cargo, cargo and cargo. I don’t know what Julia Stiles needs to carry but lemme tell you, she is ready to carry lots of things. That girl has more pockets than Polly. Also, if she wears a single bra during this whole movie, I missed it. What I did see was a lot of waterfall tees. If you don’t know what that means, allow me to enlighten you, I’m sure it will come in handy at some point. That’s when you start with a color at the top of the t-shirt, and it slowly gets lighter and lighter in until it’s white at the bottom. They were really stylish then I’m sure.
Sarah and Derrick’s romance is wrought with different styles (/Stiles lololol) of dancing and some racial tension, but they get through it don’t worry. Their relationship is something nothing can tear apart! Not a slutty Aaliyah look-a-like (RIP), not a violent friend/drug dealer, not even a zig zag part, which trust me, there were many.
The vocab in this movie took me BACK. There are phrases like: “ain’t no shame or blame in that,” and “ain’t nobody diss or dismiss me.” Then there’s the single word assertions: slammin, trippin- apparently in 2001 to make something cool, you just needed to take a verb for something you can do in basketball and apply it to whatever you want. Instant cool. Something else that was cool clearly was the song “Be Faithful” by Fatman Scoop. That song was playing during every club shot. In 2001 I didn’t even know what a chicken head was, let alone why they needed to be quiet.
This movie has a lot of double action shots- two things moving at once in time but at different points. Like in the beginning, when Sarah’s mom’s car accident is shown alongside footage of her train moving, and later at the emotional climax of the movie when they show a TRIPLE action juxtaposition, between Sarah’s audition for Julliard, Malakai’s drive by, and Derrick trying to get to Sarah’s audition on time! So he doesn’t disappoint her like her mom!
Then there’s the chair dance.
I don’t have words. Except that she seems to be wearing pants made of garbage bags, but we can all look past that. Everyone’s made mistakes. Also, I’m sure auditions for Julliard would be closed and civilians wouldn’t be allowed in, nor would they be allowed onstage for a quick pep talk, but that’s the magic of movies. Also god bless her she throws the heel toe in there. THIS MOVIE IS SO AMAZING. Also, as much as I shit on the clothes, with the amount of leotards and velvet in this movie- makes you think American Apparel took some notes when it came out.
Overall, so amazing. Love it. Thank god for VHS and dance movies. and Julia! Even if she does have a flat face.