The Debut (2000)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: John Manal Castro, Gene Cajayon
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 9, 2003
Box Office: $1.5M
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Official Site


as Ben Mercado

as Lolo Carlos

as Roland Mercado

as Augusto

as Edwin Mercado

as Rose Mercado

as Annabell

as Rommel
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Debut

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (13)

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

Full Review… | November 15, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top 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

An earnest and predictable little indie.

October 18, 2002
New York Post
Top 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.

Full Review… | October 17, 2002
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 15, 2002
Village Voice
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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