Synopsis “A former wrestler and his family make a living performing at small venues around the country while his kids dream of joining World Wrestling Entertainment.”
While Darren Aronofsky concentrated on the end of a wrestlers career for 2008’s The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke, Fighting With My Family takes a look at the trials and tribulations of starting out in the business.
Directed by Stephen Merchant (who puts in a little cameo of his own) and produced by former Wrestler turned Hollywood heavyweight, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (also featured in a minor role as himself), this film follows the true story of since retired WWE star, Paige. From her humble beginnings wrestling for the oddball family business in England, through her recruitment and subsequent training in developmental programs, right up to her main roster debut on Monday Night Raw.
Certain liberties are taken with the story, and changes made to better suit a film script, but it remains a fairly true account throughout.
At its core, Fighting With My Family is about hard work paying off, and the things that one will go through for their family. It may be a “wrestling movie”, but don’t let that turn you off. You don’t need to be a wrestling fan to appreciate the core values here. Take wrestling out of the equation, and the story works for any other sport, or career really. This is a film about success, and what it takes to make it to the top. It’s a story everybody can relate to.
Relative newcomer, Florence Pugh, stars as Paige, and does a great job in the role. The supporting cast is made up of Nick Frost and Lena Headey as the amusing, and often embarrassing parents, Jack Lowden as brother, and failed WWE tryout, Zak Knight, and in a minor but important role, Vince Vaughn as the trainer of NXT.
Fighting With My Family is a heartwarming feel good story, but most importantly it’s entertaining and highly watchable.
Review by Shayne McGowan