I’m a big fan of Cinegang (James Reid, Nadine Lustre, Andre Paras and Yassi Pressman), and I really like how these guys are on and off screen. I was actually waiting for Boyfriend for Hire (Andre and Yassi’s movie) to come out first before I learned that they also worked on this comedy directed by Wenn Deramas (Ang Tanging Ina). Watching the trailer, I knew that I was signing up for an hour and a half of mindless fun and that’s exactly what I got.
Wang Fam (short for Wang family) revolves around Boo (Benjie Paras) who falls in love with Malou (Pokwang), the last virgin among the aswangs (mythical monsters) who is set to be sacrificed before the mother aswang to become her next vessel. The couple, after a whirlwind courtship decide to preempt her fate by getting married and consummating their love. They manage to succeed but through the course of their escape, Malou needed to turn Boo into an aswang himself. Fast forward to 18 years later, the couple already have three children Duke (Andre), Cala (Abby Bautista) and Vey (Alonso Muhlach) and the family, after getting tired of constantly moving decide start anew in Manila where they are subject to suspicion after deaths occur in the barangay shortly after they arrive.
The first clue of the film’s brand of comedy was the characters’ names — Boo Wang translates to crazy, Malou Wang (which sounds like Maluwang) translates to loose, Duke Wang (which sounds like dukwang) translates to leaning foward, Cala Wang (which sounds like kalawang) translates to rust and Vey Wang (which sounds like beywang) translates to waist. If this type of comedy sells with you, then you are probably in the right moviehouse, but if not, better spend your money on another film.
With natural comedians Benjie Paras and Pokwang headlining the movie, the jokes border on ridiculous and ridiculously corny — the type that makes you shake your head in laughter anyway just for the heck of it. Their timing is great, borne from Pokwang’s years of doing standup comedy and Benjie’s experience in starring in 90’s style comedies. There are times that the jokes seem dated but given the age of the main actors, it was understandable. For the teens and young adults, Yassi and Andre make for a cute pairing and it seemed like they were just goofing around for the most part, which felt very natural.
The story was shallow and most of the time made no sense, but I felt like it was intentional to highlight the general goal of the film — cheap laughs, which it manages to achieve in spades. The plot is riddled with loopholes, true, but somehow it felt weirdly right for the level of the movie.
The entire movie seemed like one big giant joke, chunked into bite sized pieces and delivered scene after scene as if being served as different courses of meals to the audience. I must admit that it was silly and pointless but in some weird sense, it was made acceptable by the fact that it was being executed by likeable actors and characters who committed to their roles and had fun with them. And in essence, this lightness also infected the audience enough to laugh along with them and enjoy their antics.
All in all, the key to enjoying this movie is just clearing your mind of anything but just having fun. Its not the best comedy movie I’ve seen — far from it really, but it wasn’t too shabby.
Check out the Wang Fam trailer below: