"Fighting With My Family" Review
Fighting With My Family is the definition of a crowd pleaser. It’s light hearted, but has heart. It’s got the hero’s journey ingrained in it as it’s based off a true story. If you’re a fan of wrestling, this film is definitely for you! It’s a step above your average sports movie and a good bet for your venture to the theater this weekend.
The Knight family has wrestling in their blood. With a piecemeal amateur wrestling company, the family has been wrestling in their town of Norwich, England for years. While Ricky (Nick Frost) and Julia’s (Lena Headey) glory days in wrestling are behind them, it’s obvious that they put a lot of weight on the possibility of their children Zak (Jack Lowden) and Saraya (Florence Pugh) going “all the way” and become pro wrestlers in the World Wrestling Entertainment organization.
The film boils down to a central point of two conflicts: Saraya and Zak are at odds once she makes makes the cut for the WWE after they both try out, and Saraya has to wrestle with herself to find the drive within to achieve her dream in America with her family thousands of miles away. These conflicts drives the movie forward in a way that no matter where you’re from you can relate to the issues on screen. How do you put aside your feelings to support someone you love who is doing what you were turned down from doing? How do you continue forward knowing your loved one has to stay behind? Is your dream your dream or your family’s dream? What does the weight of your family depending on you make you do? Writer/director Stephen Merchant probes and answers these questions in a delightful way.
The ensemble cast is fun to watch. They bounce off of one another with dialogue and quips with ease. Most of the film’s depth rests on Pugh as she maneuvers through finding herself and place in achieving her dream. Pugh certainly pulls off the job of playing the loner who desires relationships and the girl who walks to her own beat. With Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson playing himself and Vince Vaughn as the tough but fair WWE scout, the film gives enough star power to believe in the wonder of climbing to the highest heights in wrestling.
This isn’t the greatest sports film to be made, but it’s certainly unique and great to see a true story based on the life of female wrestler Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis) on the big screen. It doesn’t have the macho action montages that we’re used to, but what it does offer is a nice change of pace, and genuine emotion for the genre. It’s certainly a good time at the movies this weekend.