#REVIEW: “FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Writer and Director Stephen Merchant tells the story of a young girl from Norwich, England whose dream it was to be a WWE Superstar. He tells a story so masterful that focuses on family and what lengths we go to for family. But with a Wrestling backdrop. Make no mistake though – this isn’t just simply a Wresting film.
The Movie focuses on the Knight family, Ricky Knight (Nick Frost), Julia Knight (Lena Headey), Zak Knight (Jack Lowden), and Saraya Knight (Florence Pugh) as their family runs an amateur Wrestling organization in Norwich. Zak and Saraya are doing everything they can to get that phone call of a lifetime, the phone call from WWE that will earn them a spot in the big league. For the Wrestling fans, we know that Saraya aka Paige makes it to the WWE, as the Movie also focuses on her journey to the top, while avoiding the messiness of her career following her transition to the main roster. The Film manages to tell Paige’s incredible story with such heart and passion that going into the behind-the-scenes drama and her long injury/forced retirement would’ve brought its spirit down. Thankfully, Merchant makes Fighting with My Family a story about one girl’s dream to revolutionize what Women’s Wrestling has become today and he succeeds.
Florence Pugh is outstanding, carrying the weight of the Film on her shoulder just like Paige would in the ring. With the entire movie focused on her character, she needed to give 110% and delivers that and then some. Her Supporting Castmates including Nick Frost, Lena Headey and Jack Lowden all support her throughout the Movie, aside from being a family, but let her truly shine through as the superstar she truly is. Vince Vaughn plays the NXT trainer/coach Hutch, who is essentially playing Matt Bloom (the real life NXT trainer), does a great job at showing how hard it is to become a NXT/WWE superstar and the vigorous training that it takes, while the emotional sacrifices involved balancing family with it all.
Whether you’re a fan of Merchant, Wresting, or you’re just looking for a feel-good movie, Fighting with my Family delivers on all fronts.
Universal Pictures Canada releases FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY in theatres on February 22, 2019.