A young man struggles with his desire to study art when his family thinks he's headed for premed studies. Conflicts between Filipino traditions and expectations vs. personal dreams in the contemporary world erupt at his sister's debut.
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
Positives - My brother is in this movie. He's the Filipino guy with the white shirt and cream vest, listening intently to the conspiracy theory of Ben's cousin out with the tricked out cars. Side note: He also owns the Black CRX with the Red "Rush Factor" sticker on the windshield. The other nice things is that they did an excellent job of capturing the "you know you're Filipino when . . ." attributes. The film is quite funny and quite accurate.
Negative - While I let this slide because its the first fil-am movie, I'd like to see less ethno-centric films. Films where nationality isn't the focal point. I have the same complaint about most African-american films. Like say they made "The Fast And the Furious" but all the main characters are Filipino. The story itself could happen to anyone, it just so happened to happen to a Filipino. The other part is that it is too general, but again, since its the first, I suppose it was necessary.
Overall - an 8. For all its flaws, they were necessary for this film because one of the main objectives was to show what the filipino culture was, both the good, the bad and the typical. And my brother was in it. hah
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