Shiri Appleby as Samantha “Sammie” Russell
Directed by Peter Gilbert|
Produced by Kelly Gonda
Written by Kara Lindstrom (screenplay)
Distributed by StudioWorks Entertainment
Release date 2000
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Larisa Oleynik as Juliana ‘Jules’ Michaels
In some ways, Sam and Jules couldn’t be more different. Sam, the only child of a hard working single mom, has somewhat of a dark outlook on life. It is hard to see the world through rose-colored glasses when you have to work an after school job at a food called Burgatory. A place where the waitresses wear red devil horns, black tails and roller skates between the kitchen and customers all the while laden with large trays of food. Although she is a wonderful writer and a beautiful dancer, Sam has been buffeted by life leaving her with a feeling that hope only leads to disappointment.
On the other hand, Jules is full of hope and joy. All she ever wanted to do is dance. Her parents, her younger brother, and her best friend Sam, all know her life revolves around dancing. Her obsession with the dancing manifests itself within a line from the quintessential ballet film, The Red Shoes. After hearing “A dancer who relies on the comfort of human love will never be a great dancer,” she immediately breaks up with her boyfriend Eli. Jules has one goal in mind, to attend Juilliard and study dance when she graduates high school. Jules spends all of her energy and free time in the studio thriving on the arduous training routine she has undertaken. Sam on the other hand does not always make it to dance class on time, or take it seriously once she is there.
With hundreds set to audition and only a handful of slots, Jules’ path to Juilliard is, in her mind, the most difficult challenge she has faced. Continuously rehearsing her audition piece with her dance teacher and mentor, Linda, Jules is suddenly slowed. A nagging pain in her hip threatens to tear the fabric of all she has worked for. She continues to dance nonetheless with help of a chiropractor and herbal ointments. Jules is diagnosed with an illness that could threaten not only her aspirations to dance, but her life as well. She refuses to recognize the severity of that which she faces. Instead Jules turns once more her focus to dancing and the audition even telling Sam that there is no time to be sick. But as the treatment she has to undergo saps her strength, time begins to take on a new meaning, a new urgency. Looking to Linda’s advice of carrying her routine with her always, she attempts to dance even harder. Her only solace lies with the beat of the steps – 1,2,3,4; 1,2,3,4. A plane ticket and Linda’s reference are all that is necessary to get her in front of the selection committee where she is bound to shine.
Quotes by her Character
Samantha Russell: Okay let me give you a reality check. Juilliard is not a Samantha Russell place, New York maybe, definitely not Juilliard. Come on, I just dance you are the dancer.
Samantha Russell: I like how small the world is outside my window. It helps me keep things in perspective: Life goes on, no matter what.
Samantha Russell: She is such a victim.
Samantha Russell: My best friend has cancer. So, all I keep thinking about is how alone I am actually gonna be when she dies.
Samantha Russell: I am perfect friend to you Jules, because I don’t expect too much. I just take whatever you’re willing to give.
Trivia and Fun Facts
- The movie based on the book “A Time For Dancing” by Davida W. Hurwin.
- Production start was on April 10, 2000.
- Shiri Appleby and Shane West both appear later together in “Emergency Room” (Season 15), though not on camera at the same time.
Watch the Trailer