Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for the WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her loved ones behind and face this new cutthroat world alone. Paige's journey pushes her to dig deep and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.
ActorsStarring: Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, Dwayne Johnson, Thomas Whilley, Tori Ellen Ross, Olivia Bernstone, Leah Harvey, Mohammad Amiri, Christine Ozanne, Grace Link, Hannah Dodd, Jack Gouldbourne, Elroy Powell, Hannah Rae, Julia Davis, Stephen Merchant, Vince Vaughn, Ellie Gonsalves, Aqueela Zoll, Kim Matula, Roy Bevis, Brendon Burns, Ciaran Dowd, Josh Myers, James Burrows, Zak Knight, Thea Megan Trinidad, Paul Wight, Stephen Farrelly, John Cena, Rod Zapata, Chloe Csengery, Chris Albright
Wrestling is not a very big sport in Europe, and also in the UK it was largely marginalised when it disappeared from mainstream TV in the ’90s. Fighting With My Family tells the true story of one family which didn’t lose their dedication to the sport: The Knights.
Dad ‘Rowdy’ Ricky (Nick Frost) ran the World Association of Wrestling and was one of the biggest names in UK wrestling, his wife Julia (Lena Heady) was also a wrestler. They raised their three kids to become professional wrestlers as well. The oldest, Roy aka Zebra Kid, was the least successful and, like his father before him, ended up in prison early in his adult life. The other two, Zak (Jack Lowden) aka Zak Zodiac, and Saraya (Florence Pugh) aka Britani, had great promise. Since the UK wrestlings scene had little prospects of a financial future, the family set their sights on the US.
As luck would have it, a talent scout (Vince Vaughn) for the WWE visits the UK in 2011 and invites both Zak and Britani for SmackDown tryouts in the O2 Arena. Britani gets invited to the US for further training, but Zak is rejected, leaving him behind in the UK struggling with feelings of jealousy.
Britani initially doesn’t quite fit in in the American wrestling arena – the other wrestlers are blond ex-models and ex-cheerleaders looking for a new profession, whilst Britani considers herself to be the only real professional: this is all she has ever done since she was 13. Of course, she slowly bonds with her rivals and her coach and she changes her stage name to Paige.
The F-word is a big no-no in wrestling. So when Zak’s girlfriend’s father drops it upon meeting the family, he immediately gets corrected: wrestling isn’t Fake, it’s Fixed! Big difference. It also means that when Paige later gets told by Dwayne Johnson that she gets to fight for the Diva’s Championship, it is already decided that she will win – kind of taking away from the ‘grand finale’ win in traditional movie terms you may think, but it is still a huge achievement to become the youngest ever WWE Diva’s Champion at the age of 21.
There is nothing particularly exceptional about this movie, and even if you know nothing about WWE or wrestling, the storyline feels rather predictable. What elevates it from mediocrity are the dedicated performances by Florence Pugh and Jack Lowden as the siblings, supported by smaller but entertaining parts of Nick Frost and Lena Heady. And I must admit, even Vince Vaughn is surprisingly palatable for once.
A feel-good movie that will have you smiling.