When I first saw the poster images and trailers for Fighting With My Family, I would not have guessed that it’d be a film I would end up enjoying and feeling rather empowered by. Quite the opposite actually, as my first impressions of the trailer led me to believe that the film would be just another cringey Dwayne Johnson film that would focus more on the comedy than the story.
A wrestling biopic, the film follows the Knight family, a close-knit wrestling family based in Norwich, who each strive to one day make their debut in the WWE. After years of showcasing their talent to their local community, Paige and her brother, Zak, are given the opportunity of a lifetime to try out for the WWE’s NXT programme. However, only Paige manages to get through, which naturally causes both excitement and tension within the family.
Unlike most biopics, Fighting With My Family is full of humour, with a bit of family drama thrown in for good measure. It’s the kind of film that will not only have you laughing out loud but also feeling a sense of kinship with the characters. Similar to any sports film, it’ll leave you feeling motivated and inspired to follow in the lead character’s footsteps and pursue your own dreams. That’s what I felt after watching the film anyway.
The film’s narrative was typical of a sports biopic, introducing us to the Knight family and building a picture of a family that some might be able to identify with. The character development and relationship building throughout the film really set the scene and tone for the film as it allowed us some insight into each character’s wants and dreams.
The challenges and obstacles both Paige and Zak had to face were quite relatable, which made the narrative identifiable and the film, heartfelt. Watching Paige struggle to come to grips with the differences between small town wrestling with the international stage wasn’t eye-opening but reinforced the glitz, glamour and expectations of show-businesses.
As a standalone film, it was easy to sit back and take the narrative, humour and overall plot in. However, there’s so much more to the film, which made it impactful not just to film-goers but to all WWE fans as well. More than just a tale about a wrestling family ‘making it’, the film is based on the true backstory of the Paige, who, in actual fact, is the WWE’s youngest Diva Champion and spearheaded the Women’s Revolution in the WWE.
This retelling of sorts of Paige’s ‘rags to riches’ story and all the challenges along the way took the film from a simple comedy sports film to one that illustrated the impact Paige had on the wrestling world.
Watching this, whilst bearing witness to the effect her perseverance had on her hometown, was heartwarming and, as mentioned above, left me with a feeling of inspiration. The fact that she had such a supportive family tugged at my heartstrings and brought upon emotions I didn’t think I’d feel in a film like this.
Of course, the emotional feelings were offset by the ridiculousness between Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Nick Frost. Till today, there isn’t a single Nick Frost film that didn’t have me chuckling away and his portrayal of Paige’s father certainly did not disappoint.
Fighting With My Family was definitely an unexpected delight. A charming sports-comedy biopic, the film will not only entertain but also motivate both boys and girls in the pursuit of their dreams (as corny as that sounds). Check it out and see how the youngest WWE Diva’s Champion got to where she was.