The Fabulous Filipino Brothers Review – A Fun Filipino Family Affair

The Fabulous Filipino Brothers

To say that Dante Basco’s The Fabulous Filipino Brothers is a family affair would be an understatement. First of all, the film was written by Dante and his siblings, stars his three brothers, features cameos by his real-life family members, and is narrated by his sister, Arianna. Then again, when you’re Filipino, you tend to do things as one big group. I should know, I have a big Filipino family just like the Bascos. 

Hence, it’s why The Fabulous Filipino Brothers we’re more forgiving of the film’s massive shortcomings. For one thing, it doesn’t have the finest jokes or tightest script. Plus, the film is also tonally all over the place. Yet, the movie beams with love, like one of those big giant bear hugs from one of your favorite uncles. By creating a film with his loved ones, Dante uses the sweet tenderness of the movie to conceal some of the rough spots. It’s so abundantly clear that The Fabulous Filipino Brothers come from a place of love and appreciation of Filipino culture.

The Fabulous Filipino Brothers follow the adventures of four brothers: Dayo (Derek Basco), Danny Boy (Darion Basco), Duke (Dante Basco), and David (Dionysio Basco). Each brother gets his own vignette to showcase their acting skills. Some brothers are just funny, while the others are more serious. It’s why the film is so tonally dissonant. Dante plays to his brothers’ strengths and lets them do their thing in front of the camera.

The Fabulous Filipino Brothers beams with love, like one of those big giant bear hugs from one of your favorite uncles.

Then again, The Fabulous Filipino Brothers are at their best when it keeps things light-hearted and focuses on the family dynamics. When the film goes deep, it relies heavily on cinematic story clichés. While it is nice to see my people’s culture well-represented onscreen, there are better ways to incorporate Filipino culture without relying on the story clichés.

Despite all of the criticism, there’s still a lot to like about The Fabulous Filipino Brothers. It’s like we, as an audience, are witnesses to a loving family home movie. After all, if you’ve ever been to a Filipino family cookout, then you know how welcoming Filipino families are. You’re immediately a part of the family, and that’s how The Fabulous Filipino Brothers felt like. In the end, it’s that spirit that ultimately camouflages some of the less stellar performances and direction. Yet, as we Filipinos say (and like they say in the film), “Bahala na,” come what may. It’s that kind of adaptive mindset that viewers must keep in mind while watching the movie. Otherwise, you’ll just get confused over the lack of narrative sense.

Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

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