“Fighting With My Family” | Ro Reviews

Fighting With My Family is an actual underdog story. One dealing with family legacies, following your dreams, and ultimately finding your way. Loosely based on the true story of WWE Superstar Page, this PG-13 film puts a realistic spin on sibling rivalry, family expectations, and finding fun in the unlikely of places. Written and Directed by Stephen Merchant, Fighting With My Family showcases the best of British wit, grit, and downright ridiculousness. You’ll find yourself laughing, identifying, and in possession of more WWE facts than you ever thought you needed to know.

Watching the wrestling used to be one sure fire way to stop arguing in my house as a kid. My brother and I both sat glued in front of the TV for every episode to air. There’s also a strong possibility of a few unsanctioned matches taking place in the middle of a living room floor cleared of all furniture. I can, however, neither confirm nor deny we jumped off the back of my mom’s couch like it was the top rope.

I’m a sucker for a comedy that pulls from real life. Tie in some serious nostalgia and there’s a good chance I’m open to being entertained. Stephen Merchant takes the best of the family’s commitment to wrestling and gives audiences a love story that will have you walking out smiling and happily rooting for Paige, and her family.

 

Lena Headey (left) as Julia Knight and Nick Frost (right) as Ricky Knight in FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY, directed by Stephen Merchant, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Robert Viglasky / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Lena Headey (left) as Julia Knight and Nick Frost (right) as Ricky Knight in FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY,
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Julia (Lena Headey) and Ricky (Nick Frost) Knight are open, eccentric, and loving. Their dedication to wrestling comes second only to their commitment to each other and their family. Headey and Frost have surprising chemistry and a way with deadpan line delivery. Their performances are far from caricatures and go a long way to anchoring this film comedically without sacrificing any of what makes this couple work in reality. It’s an unexpected look for Headey fans accustom to her stoicism and ruthlessness as Cersei on Game of Thrones.

Jack Lowden (left) stars as Zak Knight and Florence Pugh (right) stars as Paige in FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY, directed by Stephen Merchant, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Robert Viglasky / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Jack Lowden (left) stars as Zak Knight and Florence Pugh (right) stars as Paige in FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY,
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Their children Zak (Jack Lowden) and Paige (Florence Pugh) share a dream of becoming WWE professional wrestlers. They eat, sleep, and breathe wrestling. It’s an unusual upbringing that showcases, their tight bond and competitive natures perfectly framed in the larger family dynamic. Pugh and Lowden have wonderful on-screen chemistry that adds layers to what could otherwise be flat characters. Their role in the film – and the family – drive this eccentric story forward with authenticity and creates multiple opportunities to explore their journey to adulthood that Merchant never fails to capitalize on. Although the second act drags a bit, the story never stops being compelling.

From the outset, this story makes no bones about finding its narrative in the characters. This ensemble cast, led by Florence Pugh, bring this story’s themes of familial obligation, failure, dedication, and dreams to life with relatable portrayals, emotion and the perfect amount of humor. There’s nothing manufactured about their love for each other, their lives, or wrestling. Some of the changes to Paige’s rise to superstardom may annoy fans in the know but overall, its a great story arc with more depth than usually expected in this type of comedy. And you can never be disappointed wrong when Vince Vaughn not only shows up with his ad-lib A-game but empathy and strength of character to lend a vital supporting role.

Wrestling fans and general movie-goers alike will find something to love about the Knight family and their story. Three cheers to Dwayne Johnson for watching a documentary during a bout of insomnia.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

*Sidenote: I strongly suggest people check out Florence Pugh in Lady Macbeth and keep her on their actresses to watch list.

Genres:

Comedy

Rating:

PG-13

Starring:

Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, with Vince Vaughn and Dwayne Johnson

Directed By:

Stephen Merchant

Produced By:

Kevin Misher, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Stephen Merchant, Michael J. Luisi

Executive Produced By:

Andy Berman, Hiram Garcia, Daniel Battsek, Tracey Josephs, David Kosse, Rhodri Thomas

Family Legacies Make For Great Comedy In “Fighting With My Family”

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