The Debut

"OK"

The Debut Review


This precious little indie gives us the night in the life of 18-year-old Ben Mercado (Dante Basco), who manages to face down his overbearing dad, realize his dream to go to art school, do a little breakdancing, get in a fight, and meet the love of his life -- all while attending his sister's birthday party. With the one-night structure and teen angst everywhere, it feels a little like Dazed and Confused put through the seive of American Adobo.

Unfortunately, Gene Cajayon's English-language flick adds little to the coming of age genre, borrowing liberally from virtually every other film (Stand By Me, Dead Poets Society, Can't Hardly Wait) to come before him. The fact that his characters are from the Phillipines doesn't make the movie unique enough to really thrill you. And unfortunately, The Debut's jokes are almost unilaterally flat -- relying on insidery Filipino gags or ages-old humor that might have worked a decade ago. Or two. Even the DVD's gag reel didn't make me break a smile.

Cajayon succeeds in drawing good performances from his novice actors, something most indie directors struggle to do and fail. He imbues his film with lots of Filipino soul, but unless you grade The Debut on its merits as a history lesson it's difficult to love. Eat Drink Man Woman and The Joy Luck Club did the "white people are ignorant" story with less obviousness and attached to better stories.

Oh, and sorry to say it, but no matter how you sex it up, you just can't make Filipino food look good on screen.



The Debut

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 13th August 2003

Box Office USA: $1.5M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Production compaines: UNIT Parktech

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.