By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
This film tells the inspiring true story of Saraya “Paige” Bevis and her journey from Norwich, England to the WWE Divas’ Championship. She comes from a wrestling family who does amateur wrestling and teaches kids how to wrestle. One day Saraya and her brother Zak get a shot at the WWE, but they only want Saraya who takes on the stage name Paige. She has to struggle with being the beacon for the family’s success and Zak has to deal with his dreams crumbling before his eyes. It’s an inspirational story that’ll make you believe in dreams and family.
This film is filled with great performances. Everyone does their part and more. Florence Pugh as Paige is endearing and a complete badass at the same time. She’s an easy hero to root for and it’s great to see someone who has to look into themselves in order to succeed. Lena Headley and Nick Frost put in great supporting performances as her parents. They’re completely supportive, almost too much realizing they probably want this more than Saraya and they might be pushing her to do all of this. But they also look inside themselves to help fix the strains these pressures put on their relationship with their daughter. Also, Jack Lowden as Zak might be the best performance, or at least he’s given the most emotional weighty scenes. His scene on the phone with Vince Vaughns’ WWE Rep Hutch is deeply moving to watch. Vince Vaughn does well with the small role he has. It’s nice seeing him take on different roles than he used to.
The emotional scenes and the inspirational nature of the film help you oversee some of the flaws this film has. Its script, written by Stephen Merchant, is a wonderful rags to riches story that is inspiring and will have you covered in goosebumps by the end of the film. Several scenes pack immense emotional weight that only cause you to root for Paige to succeed a little more with each scene. It’s a great film to take your child to see to show them that they should never give up on their dream. But maybe wait till they’re a little older, there is some very adult humor.
The script is hilarious, with every joke landing with a ton of laughter. Also, it mixes humor with real problems quite well. There is a scene in particular when Ricky Knight (Nick Frost) is asking one of his wrestlers what he’s willing to do in that night’s match. Take a trash can lid to the face, or take a bowling ball to the crotch. It’s hilarious to watch this interaction, but then Ricky gets upset because he thinks his guys are getting underpaid to do the stunts. It’s a sad realization that this is the life of most wrestlers, but it’s highlighted with hilarious jokes.
At the same time, the script is a bit formulaic in its execution the way most biopics end up being. You can see everything coming from a mile away; however, it doesn’t take away from the inspiration you leave the theater with.
The real Paige.
Fighting With My Family‘s script and story structure are formulaic, but the story is still inspiring and you’ll leave the theater in high spirits thinking you can take on the world. I’m not a wrestling fan and I’ve never watched a match in my life and I thoroughly enjoyed this film, which is a testament to the acting and the story itself.
Fighting with My Family (2019) Drinking Game
Do a Shot: every time the parents cuss.
Take a Drink: for every acrobatic wrestling move.
Do a Shot: every time Paige thinks she should quit.
Do a Shot: for every hit to the face.