The Motel (2005)
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Critic Reviews for The Motel
The Motel gives the lie to all those mainstream teen sex comedies starring happy, horny gwailos .
Perhaps The Motel meanders a bit too much -- hard to do in a 76-minute film -- but it is an engaging little movie.
It's a modest triumph of unflattering realism, proving yet again that a camera, a few good actors, the right material and a sensitive director are all you need to illuminate any particular aspect of humanity.
There is honesty and integrity in the filmmaking and the performances, which make The Motel among the best character studies of the year.
A well-worn coming-of-age tale enlivened by pungent detail and a sharp visual sense.
Audience Reviews for The Motel
Pretty short and low-budget, but a decent indie flick about a young chinese boy who works with his family at a suburban motel (hence the title). It's a very character-driven story and quite funny in parts. Sadly though, it got kind of dull after a while, as there wasn't much going on. The dialogue is also overly simple and doesn't hold much substance at all. So the only thing that really make this movie worthwhile is its originality, plus the humor bits. A fairly enjoyable watch, but I expected so much more than what I got.
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Motel," 13-year old Ernest(Jeffrey Chyau) lives and works at a rundown motel managed by his mother, along with his younger sister and grandfather. As far as slice-of-life movies go, it is rather sweet and not bad but it is also so slight that it could be blown away by the first strong breeze. And it is rather precious in making the lead character a writer in training, Ernest having just won honorable mention in a writing contest. Plus, there are a couple of episodes late in the film which happen for no other reason than convenience's sake. Overall, the movie is not about Ernest growing up per se, as it is about his becoming a man.(His father has long since left, which sort of makes him the man of the house.)[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The motel is symbolic of purgatory. People are constantly passing through, some longer than others, but they are all at the low end of society's register. And it is surprising that Ernest's mother, strict as she is, does not apparently have any compunctions about her children being unsupervised in this environment. [/font]
A different type of coming of age story features a young Chinese boy who is pushed into depression by his mother while he works in a seemingly dead end motel business. Very charming.
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