The Debut (2001)
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,250
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
May 18, 2001 Limited
Sep 9, 2003
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Director Gene Cajayon, with co-writer John Manal Castro and a charming cast, continually subverts expectations.
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.
An earnest and predictable little indie.
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.
The film has a sweet low-budget quality that sometimes slips into TV-movie schmaltz.
Celebrates community and family, and does so in such a warm-hearted way that its formulaic nature is easily forgiven.
The Joy Luck Club did the "white people are ignorant" story with less obviousness
That it feels so predictable is, ironically, a tribute to the universality of the experience it explores.
Predictable but heartfelt, and valuable in that it is one of the first Filipino-American productions.
For all its familiarity, The Debut (an unfortunately bland and vague title) is a film from the heart...
The unabashed earnestness of everyone involved allows you to forgive some of the shortcomings.
All involved seem keyed into the subtextual subtleties of a story that, while simple on the surface, is exceedingly rich underneath.
A smart, engaging demonstration of how the conventions of the coming-of-age comedy-drama can be adapted and given new meaning.
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.
As well-meaning as an after-school special and only slightly more inspired.
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