Professional wrestling is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing facets of our pop culture. The debate of whether or not it truly fits the description of a sport has gone on for decades. When it comes down to it, professional wrestling is entertainment, performed by athletes who have made it their mission to be the best inside the squared circle. Just be careful not to call it “fake”, as the term is pretty much considered derogatory to the wrestling community. Whether or not you’ve been a fan for years (like myself), or you’ve completely fallen out of love with it (like the person who got me into it in the first place: my brother), or perhaps you’ve never watched it and don’t have a desire to, Fighting With My Family, based on a true story, is a film worth checking out. That’s because it’s for everyone.
Co-produced by Dwayne Johnson (who also makes appearances in the film) and starring Florence Pugh, Vince Vaughn, and Lena Headey from Game of Thrones, Fighting With My Family tells the story of professional wrestler Saraya Bevis – better known to wrestling fans as “Paige”. The film follows her journey from growing up in a family of professional wrestlers to making it to the biggest professional wrestling company on the planet: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Pugh portrays Paige, the anti-diva. She’s not your typical blonde, model-esque, female wrestler that people were used to seeing for years. She’s a tough, black-haired, pale-skinned, British girl from Norwich, with dreams of superstardom. She shares this dream with her ride or die brother, Zak, portrayed by Jack Lowden. However, as seen in the trailer, Paige is the only one of the two to get that shot at glory.
The film is essentially a dramedy, mixing intense scenes with ones that will give you a good laugh – more particularly by Paige and Zak’s loving and supportive parents, Patrick and Julia Bevis. You can also count on Vince Vaughn to give you those much-needed laughs in between those emotionally draining parts. It’s a story you’ve probably never seen played out in a movie before about a young woman you’ve probably never heard of either. But none of that matters when the film’s themes are ones that anyone can relate to.
With a cast that is fully committed to their performances, you’d start to question why all the big film studios ultimately passed on the project. You’ll be cheering for Paige as she struggles to find herself, and Zak as he searches to find his true purpose in life. No longer are the days that female wrestlers must look like they came off the pages of a centerfold. Because of Paige and her story, you can look and be different, and still make it.
Due to a serious neck injury that she sustained at a WWE Live Event in Long Island, Paige was forced to retire at just 26 years of age. But even though her in-ring career was cut short, her journey from humble beginnings to wrestling champion is still a very inspiring and undeniable one. After watching the film, you will feel like, just as Paige has, you can go against the status quo and drown out those around you who are saying you’re just not good enough.
Fighting With My Family is now playing in select theaters in the United States. The film will open nationwide on February 22, and February 27 in the United Kingdom. Check out the trailer below.
Fighting With My Family Movie Review – Is It Worth Checking Out?: Featured Image Credit: MGM