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The Debut

The Debut (2001)

tomatometer

73

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

72

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,250

My Rating

Movie Info

Ben Mercado is a talented high school senior who enrolls in a prestigious art school in order to realize his dreams of becoming an animator. However, his plans come into conflict with those of his immigrant father Roland, a postal worker intent on seeing Ben become a doctor. Their long-simmering feud (for Ben a struggle to fit into American life and reject his Filipino heritage; and for Roland, a quest to give his children a better life than he had) threatens to boil over and ruin the elaborate

R,

Drama, Comedy

John Manal Castro, Gene Cajayon

Sep 9, 2003

$1.5M

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (6) | DVD (8)

Director Gene Cajayon, with co-writer John Manal Castro and a charming cast, continually subverts expectations.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mostly the situations, albeit compressed, ring true; the characters are admirably multi-dimensional, and there are welcome doses of humor that compensate for any contrivances.

November 15, 2002
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An earnest and predictable little indie.

October 18, 2002
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A neat blend of well-drawn major characters and drama, music, dance, romance and humor that generates considerable charm and achieves a heartwarming resolution of its generational conflict.

October 17, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film has a sweet low-budget quality that sometimes slips into TV-movie schmaltz.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Celebrates community and family, and does so in such a warm-hearted way that its formulaic nature is easily forgiven.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Joy Luck Club did the "white people are ignorant" story with less obviousness

August 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

That it feels so predictable is, ironically, a tribute to the universality of the experience it explores.

October 18, 2002 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Predictable but heartfelt, and valuable in that it is one of the first Filipino-American productions.

October 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

For all its familiarity, The Debut (an unfortunately bland and vague title) is a film from the heart...

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A heartfelt, crowd-pleaser of a story.

December 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

The unabashed earnestness of everyone involved allows you to forgive some of the shortcomings.

October 5, 2001 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

All involved seem keyed into the subtextual subtleties of a story that, while simple on the surface, is exceedingly rich underneath.

October 4, 2001
New Times

A smart, engaging demonstration of how the conventions of the coming-of-age comedy-drama can be adapted and given new meaning.

June 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Has at its heart a strong cast of actors giving their all to earn a resounding ring of truth with the movie's target audience.

April 18, 2001 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire
SPLICEDWire

As well-meaning as an after-school special and only slightly more inspired.

April 10, 2001
Reel.com

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