The Motel

Watch The Motel

"Out of Place in the Middle of Nowhere."
  • NR
  • 2005
  • 1 hr 16 min
  • 6.6  (1,423)
  • 70

The Motel from 2005 is a poignant and heartwarming coming-of-age story that revolves around the life of Ernest Chin, a 13-year-old Chinese-American boy who lives with his mother at a run-down motel. The film is directed by Michael Kang and stars Jeffrey Chyau, Sung Kang, and Jade Wu in lead roles. The story takes place at the Purple Cactus Lodge, a budget motel that is owned and managed by Ernest's mother. Ernest is an introverted and awkward teenager who is struggling to find his place in the world. He is constantly bullied by his schoolmates and has a strained relationship with his overbearing mother. To cope with his troubles, Ernest retreats to his secret hideaway, a dimly lit utility room at the motel where he sketches out his imaginative drawings.

One day, Sam Kim, a charismatic and handsome Korean-American man, checks into the motel as the newest guest. Sam is a successful businessman who has come to town to close a big deal. However, things take an interesting turn when Sam befriends Ernest and takes him under his wing. Sam recognizes the boy's talent and encourages him to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. Through their unlikely friendship, Ernest learns valuable life lessons and gains the confidence to stand up for himself.

As the story unfolds, we see Ernest's relationship with his mother evolve. Initially, his mother is highly critical of him, often berating him for his shortcomings. However, as she sees him grow and flourish under Sam's mentorship, she begins to realize and appreciate his worth. Eventually, she passes on the running of the motel to Ernest, proving her faith in him and his abilities.

The Motel is a unique film that explores themes of identity, race, and family ties. The characters are relatable and multi-dimensional, each with their own struggles and desires. Ernest is a complex character who is grappling with his Asian-American identity and trying to find his place in a predominantly white society. Sam is the archetypal outsider who has struggled to merge his American and Korean identities. Ernest's mother, played by Jade Wu, is a nuanced character who is grappling with her own regrets and unfulfilled dreams.

The film is shot beautifully, with a melancholic yet captivating score that sets the mood perfectly. The cinematography is stunning, with several shots of the motel's run-down interiors that serve as an allegory for the characters' internal struggles. The film's pace is deliberate and measured, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the lives of the characters and experience their emotions firsthand.

Overall, The Motel is an underrated gem of a film that deserves more attention. It is a heartwarming and inspiring story of a young boy's journey towards self-discovery and maturity. The film is both entertaining and thought-provoking, leaving a lasting impact on its viewers.

The Motel is a 2005 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 16 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 70.

The Motel
Where to Watch The Motel
The Motel is available to watch free on Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Motel for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 16 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (1,423)
  • Metascore