FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY.
(ORIGINALLY POSTED ON LETTERBOXD - 26/12/2019)
CUT TO: Written reviews.
Technically contains spoilers since I talk about the ending, but if you know the true story anyway then it's not really gonna ruin anything.
Film is my main and current passion in life, however if you were to ask 14 year old Oscar what he loved most he would've answered "pro wrestling".
I was interested in this film not only being a wrestling fan and familiar with the Paige story, but also being an Englishman myself I have a soft spot for the UK indy wrestling scene and I was happy to see a film starring a big star like The Rock that showcases BritWres to some extent.
Fighting With My Family is a fine feel-good fun flick, completely harmless and leaves the general audience with a smile on their face and although I had some problems with it I still had a good time. If you're a hardcore wrestling fan this film will get on your nerves at certain points, there's a lot of timeline stuff that doesn't add up such as: the Divas Championship belt design wouldn't have been around when Paige was a child, if Paige was 18 when she was accepted by WWE that would've been 2010 thus NXT wouldn't have existed as the developmental territory but as a gameshow on the SyFy channel, the ending showed Paige winning the Divas title, which was correct, but the film completely glossed over the fact that she was the NXT Women's Champion at the time of her beating AJ Lee, and although the setting was accurate for the indy wrestling show at the beginning I have never once in my life been to a British independent wrestling show that was that enthusiastic about anything other than the bar being open.
Besides from the few nitpicks I had with FWMF I can still say at its heart is a nice love letter to wrestling and the passion many people have for it, if Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler is degree level then think of Stephen Merchant's sports/comedy as basic entry level into the world of wrestling.
The best aspect about this film was the cast, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Jack Lowden and Florence Pugh wall were brilliant as the Knight family by feeling like a natural working-class British family, felt like a few people that I have encountered in my life. This continues my love for Pugh and I truly see big things in her future (loved Midsommar and can't wait for Little Women). Vince Vaughn also was really good as the head coach in the Performance Centre, clearly a combination of Matt Bloom and Dusty Rhodes and was a really nice addition to the film.
On a side note it was really cool to see a few UK wrestlers pop in for a little cameo, nice seeing "The Bastard" Dave Mastiff and "Superbad" Kip Sabian make it on the big screen in some way.