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

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

This much more light-hearted sequel reinvigorates the franchise after Disney's quirky but murky 2010 reboot...

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Acclaimed filmmaker Whit Stillman reunites the stars of his 1998 drama The Last Days of...

Money Monster Movie Review

Money Monster Movie Review

A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare...

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Advertisement
Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

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.