Fighting with My Family

by Alan Rapp on March 15, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Fighting with My Family
  • IMDb: link

Fighting with My Family movie reviewFlorence Pugh stars as the unconventional Saraya-Jade Bevis in this biopic of a real-life underdog making good. At the time when the WWE was stocking its women’s division with models, the goth indie wrestler from an oddball wrestling family in Norwich, England would seem like a long shot to not only make the WWE roster but excel.

Knowing and trusting his source material, and putting his faith in his young stars, Stephen Merchant allows the stories of both Saraya and her brother Zak (Jack Lowden), who is passed over by the WWE, to unfold. For Zak it’s the struggle of watching his dreams turn to ash while his sister is handed the golden opportunity he’s sought his entire life. And for Saraya it’s struggling to find her place in a larger ring, the one place she has always felt at home but is now full of more obstacles than she ever imagined.

Fighting with My Family is a crowd-pleaser featuring some great supporting performances from the likes of Nick Frost and Lena Headey as Sayara’s parents and Vince Vaughn as the trainer who offers Sayara her chance and pushes her to succeed.

Going the extra mile, Merchant’s script doesn’t settle for one-dimensional characters even in its smaller roles. Sure, Vaughn provides several cheap laughs in his off-the-cuff remarks, but we’re not surprised to learn there’s more to him than just a tough drill sergeant who has a strong personal stake in the career wrestlers like Zak and Sayara strive for. While originally presented as nothing more than sexy rivals, Sayara’s co-recruits (Kim Matula, Aqueela Zoll, and Ellie Gonsalves) turn out to have more going on than just hot bods and catty model behavior and will play a larger role in Sayara’s journey than you may initially expect. And Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jack Gouldbourne both provide electrifying moments as the wrestling’s biggest star and the most unlikely wrestler respectively.

From the small arenas where Sayara wrestles with her family (often teaming up with her brother to take on her mother and father), to the gym where Zak trains local kids to wrestle, to the large WWE arenas, Merchant takes care in capturing both the glamour and allure of wrestling while highlighting the struggle to succeed in a business that requires athleticism, timing, wrestling know-how, and an ability to win over arenas full of screaming fans. Not to be outshone, Lowden steals more than a few scenes as the local hero not quite good enough for the big time. As much as it’s Sayara’s journey, the film really is about the family, and the love and camaraderie that is found both in and out of the ring when wrestling gets in your blood.

#1 Fan April 1, 2019 at 7:11 pm

Thanks for recommending this! We went and everyone had fun even though none of us are big wrestling fans.

August April 14, 2019 at 3:52 am

Great movie!

darren May 27, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Great flick thank you for recommending it

gerry January 23, 2020 at 1:39 pm

Overall pretty decent movie felt a bit rushed and like some info was left out but was a nice attempt at putting a biopic of sorts together on a person who doesnt have extended history and a long list of memorable events in her career.

naomi October 26, 2020 at 11:19 pm

Could not even wish to read something better than this.

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