The Vacuous Comedy Bane: A Review of Wenn Deramas’ Wang Fam

20 Dec

Nonoy Lauzon

While certain quarters may not find anything wrong with it, the opposite is evidently true. Why further oppress the hapless populace?

Studio productions in the country are obviously in dire straits with costly event movies requiring even costlier returns that fail more often than not to materialize. With their producers impaired by a kind of desperation to draw huge turnout of audiences, these event movies have no option but to pander to perceive mass preference for mindless entertainment fare.

Case in point is Wenn V. Deramas’ Wang Fam. The horror-cum-family comedy feature has no aim but to elicit laughs from viewers, thinking that it is only but the right way to do them favor, in exchange for their patronage and provide, so to speak, a respite from the drudgery of their daily lives. What gets in the way of the film’s pronounced tasks to deliver the laughs, however, are lapses of logic in its storytelling and too much suspension of disbelief that it demands on the part of the viewing patrons.

When is comedy a menace to society? The sure answer is when it is made in the Philippines – what with slapstick, toilet humor, political incorrectness, cultural insensitivity as the norms then as it is now! In Wang Fam, for example, its fixation is to lampoon –instead of the powers-that-be behind the dreary existence of much of the people in the country living below the poverty line – the less privileged and the marginalized.

They are already in real life exploited with persisting social conditions. And for some reasons, they again have to be exploited in reel with the movies they are tricked to patronize as their plight and predicament turned into fodder for jokes and object of ridicule on the silver screen. This in itself is an instance of injustice and sadly, a carry-over from a mindset shaped by popular predilection for a noontime-variety-television culture that capitalizes on empty fanfare and cheap thrills just to win a gory battle of the networks.

Wang Fam is packaged as a film that puts premium on family values and solidarity. But one has grounds to suspect its actual agenda. Its interest is to keep the “disorder” of things and the status quo. By such, people are otherwise urged not to so much think and to avoid at all costs to be discerning – just so they can derive pleasure and have seemingly innocuous fun with vacuous comedies that embody everything that is wrong and twisted with the world.

(This review was originally posted on



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