6.6/10
605
33 user 19 critic

The Debut (2000)

Trailer
2:07 | Trailer

On Disc

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The story revolves around Ben Mercado, a talented high school senior who has rejected his Filipino heritage. The long-simmering feud between Ben and his immigrant father Roland threatens to... See full summary »

Director:

Gene Cajayon
4 wins. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dante Basco ... Ben Mercado (as Danté Basco)
Jayson Schaal Jayson Schaal ... Doug
Brian Card Brian Card ... Dave
Mindy Spence Mindy Spence ... Jennifer
Nicole Hawkyard ... Susie
Brandon Martinez Brandon Martinez ... Rick
Ernie Zarate Ernie Zarate ... Tito Lenny
Gina Alajar ... Gina Mercado
Emelita Moll Emelita Moll ... Tita Connie
Gina Honda Gina Honda ... Tita Florie
Tirso Cruz III ... Roland Mercado
Bernadette Balagtas ... Rose Mercado
Rawlins Apilado Rawlins Apilado ... Jun
Derek Basco ... Edwin Mercado
Joy Bisco ... Annabelle Manalo
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Storyline

The story revolves around Ben Mercado, a talented high school senior who has rejected his Filipino heritage. The long-simmering feud between Ben and his immigrant father Roland threatens to boil over and ruin the 18th birthday party of Ben's sister Rose. But to Ben's surprise, his sister's celebration challenges his sense of misplaced identity, and the way he regards his father and grandfather. In one night, Ben faces the true nature of his relationships with his family, his friends, and himself. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One night can change a lifetime.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Gene Cajayon

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Tagalog | Filipino

Release Date:

13 August 2003 (Philippines) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mercado Family Debut See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,784, 15 March 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,743,570, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was never picked up by a major distribution company. Instead, the producers organized a grass roots effort to self-distribute the film. Three years passed between initial principal photography to opening, and another three to have the film travel and screened across the United States. A total of six years before the film made it to DVD and home video. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Could have been a lot more than it was
26 December 2014 | by Seth_Rogue_OneSee all my reviews

I get it, it's the first movie starring primarily young American- Filipinos and that was a big deal to a lot of people because they and Asian groups in general have a very limited place (if any) in the entertainment business.

But that doesn't mean the movie is automatically good because it brings up a culture seldom seen in American movies.

A lot of times the movie becomes way to focused on showcasing the culture that it forgets about telling a good story.

Long scenes of people singing, folk dancing etc might be nice to see for some but just doesn't move the movie forward. And it doesn't help that Dante Basco's 2 white friends in the movie act like they just witnessed the birth of Christ after seeing the performances.

The 2 white friends serves no real purpose in the movie except for I guess portraying what the white public watching the movie is SUPPOSED to feel, but at least as with the case with me this was not the case.

When it does focus on the story though and the Basco brothers it's fairly good but yeah too often it slips into something that more resembles a promotion video for Philipino culture and various artists.

There's also a dance-battle which I usually enjoy but it's so overly choreographed it's ridiculous to think that they are suppose to make it up on spot.

Anyways, like I said if it wasn't for all that it would be a fairly good movie, now it's just okay with occasional moments of greatness but also occasional moments of annoyance.


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