The Motel (2005)

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Thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way. Misunderstood by his family and blindly careening into puberty, Ernest ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffrey Chyau ...
Ahma Chin
Alexis Chang ...
Katie (as Alexis Kapp Chang)
Stephen Chen ...
Gung Gung
Conor J. White ...
Jackson Budinger ...
Eleanor Hutchins ...
Ron Domingo ...
Jake Holbrook ...
Ian Boyd ...
Glen Brackenridge ...
Cheap Ass Naked Man


Thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way. Misunderstood by his family and blindly careening into puberty, Ernest befriends Sam Kim, a self-destructive yet charismatic Korean man who has checked in. Sam teaches the fatherless boy all the rites of manhood. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Out of Place in the Middle of Nowhere.


Comedy | Drama



Official Sites:




Release Date:

24 January 2005 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,100 (USA) (30 June 2006)


$47,111 (USA) (6 October 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sam: I know what you were thinking. I hope this guy speaks english.
Ernest: No, You walk like you speak english.
See more »


Features Happy Tree Friends: Volume 1: First Blood (2002) See more »


Untitled #2
Written by Carol Bui
Performed by Carol Bui
Courtesy of Drunken Butterfly
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User Reviews

Ernestly wanting to grow up
26 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Don't think that I have a fondness for this film because it features a chubby 13-year-old with glasses and no clue as to what life is about. I assure you that it is not my biography - although it could very well be.

The award winning film at Sundance and the Independent Spirit Awards is a cute and poignant coming-of-age tale about a Chinese-American (Jeffrey Chyau in his first role) who is lost until he meets Sam (Sung Kang - War, Live Free or Die Hard), a Korean-American, who seems to have it all together.

Sam is really a man with problems of his own and not a great role model. Fortunately Ernest does get into a lot of trouble with him.

It is interesting to see Ernest trying to find love and stumbling badly at that. he is floating, with his father not around to provide guidance, and his alcoholic mother no help at all.

Asian-American stereotypical behavior aside, it is a worthwhile film to catch when it plays on the Sundance Channel.

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