The Movie Buffer

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Motel


All work and no spoilers make Jack a dull boy.


Trailer Found here.

This indie gem focuses on the awkwardness of puberty and how it overwhelms or is overcome by the young main character, Earnest. Living with his mother and grandfather at the family’s rundown hourly rate motel, Earnest finds himself misunderstood, isolated and without help in his time of need. That is, until Sam arrives. Sam pulls into the hotel, located on a deserted stretch of highway in the wooded areas of northern California, and befriends the lonely kid. Through a series of escalating shenanigans, Sam bestows some life lessons on to Earnest, who tries his best to apply them to his current problems, like impressing the young waitress at the local restaurant, dealing with his terrible job at the motel and trying to express himself to his overbearing mother.

Director, Michael Kang, made a huge splash with this movie at the Sundance Film Festival and Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film festival. The film is crafted in such a way the even though the story revolves around an Asian family, it still rings with truth for everyone. Though the pacing may put some people off, the slow build up and the crashing, chaotic events suit the topic of the film perfectly.

The actors, especially the main lead, Jeffrey Chyau, and the female lead, Samantha Futerman, play their roles very well. Chyau has acting skills far beyond his age, holding his own with the far more experienced cast members. Sung Kang (Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) plays the charismatic and delinquent, Sam, with poise and vigor. The duo of Chyau and Kang are great on camera with each other. Not only do they have a brotherly relationship but they each learn something about themselves from the other.

This movie is great fun and painfully realistic. It didn’t enjoy a wide release, but smaller theatres may have it for a short run. Overall this movie gets a 7/10 or three and a half stars out of five. This is a touching coming of age story that down plays a lot of the baggage that comes with the genre.


Post a Comment

<< Home