For director Dante Basco and screenwriters Dante Basco, Darion Basco, Dionysio Basco and Arianna Basco, this film, ‘The Fabulous Filipino Brothers,’ is truly a family affair, but while I’ll leave it up to you to decide if they are truly fabulous, they are funny. The Bascos have many show business credits between them–acting, writing and producing. You can check IMDb for all of that info.
Narrated by a someone who will provide a surprise solution, this comedy is about four brothers at a wedding. Initially it isn’t clear whose wedding, but you’ll eventually get there as each brother is introduced through a vignette. First, there’s the curse of the eldest brother, Dayo Abasta (Derek) who feels duty-bound to pay for the wedding. When his Chinese American wife (Cheryl Tsai) complains, he explains a small affair won’t do because Filipinos are “jungle Asians.” How he scrounges up the money involves a gangster, an elderly aunt and cockfighting.
The most successful brother, Duke (Dante) finds himself back in Manila, a country he’s not been to since he was a child. By chance, he’s reunited with an old flame, Anna (Solenn Heussaff) and although both are married, one thing leads to another but Anna’s not returning to married life.
Then there’s the eternal bachelor, playboy brother Danny Boy (Darion) who hovers over the wedding buffet and while he’s been warned to wait, he finds himself playing with food as he eyes a seductive and recently divorced guest. Danny Boy is the one who helps depressed David (Dionysio) rejoin the dating game when he posts David’s profile on an app. David’s girlfriend left him two years ago, taking his kid. He might have made a new love connection but not everyone is pleased with the new girl David brings home.
“The Fabulous Filipino Brothers” had its world premiere at SXSW and there’s plenty of cross-cultural and generational gap complaining and the brothers easily emulate their brotherly ties that span from teasing to tenderness to total warfare. I could easily see this having a sequel or prequels. This film is light and doesn’t dig deep. If you want to escape from the hard realities hitting Asians and Asian Americans today, this might be your jam.
“The Fabulous Filipino Brothers” (Philippines, United States) made its world premiere at SWSW Online 2021. Running time is 99 minutes.