Fighting With My Family
Had to double take on the director and writer and make sure if it was THE Stephen Merchant writing and directing this film and it turned out it was so that was interesting. I used to be a super huge WWE fan from 1999-2011. By super huge I mean, I used to watch every show religiously and know everything about each athlete. I’m familiar with Paige through sporadic watching here and there and seeing her on Total Divas and am certainly not a fan of her or how she carries herself but this film was a fairly fun albeit cliched film.
The film tells the story of Saraya “Paige” Bevis and her background. Her family are all wrestling crazed and put on wrestling shows and train others in Norwich. Paige and her brother get called up for a WWE tryout but only Paige makes the cut. Paige’s brother is devastated and Paige must deal with the drastic change in her life and the hard road to living out her dream.
Florence Pugh is already an established talent in my eyes because of her performance in Lady Macbeth. She’s really fantastic in this, and disappears into the role of a WWE hopeful. The writing of Merchant and the care with which he gives to the comedy, the drama, and the heart involved in developing the characters is great. Its crazy to think that Merchant did not know a thing about wrestling before taking on the project. Side note: Merchant was in attendance at my screening for a Q and A and gave good insight into the project. Thought Jack Lowden and Nick Frost were great in this as well, especially Frost being able to play an unconventional tougher guy role.
The film can’t help feeling cliched. Training montage, sibling rivalry leading to a profound confrontation that resolves the issue, and the underdog overcoming the odds. I find it weird that real life Paige was just given the WWE Divas championship on her WWE debut but whatever. Overall, the film maintains a good balance of comedy and drama and you don’t need to know anything about WWE or sports entertainment to enjoy the film. Merchant does a good job.