McCann At The Movies: ‘Fighting With My Family’ Is A Lot Of Fun

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John McCann says ‘Fighting with My Family’ see Stephen Merchant make a noble effort in a heartfelt wrestling feature sure to make you laugh…

Premiering at this years’ Sundance Film Festival, ‘Fighting with My Family’ which was written, directed and produced by Stephen Merchant, is a sports biographical comedy based on Max Fisher’s 2012 documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family.

As solid comedies are a rarity these days in Hollywood, I was a little unsure of what my weekly trip to Tralee Omniplex had in store for me upon arrival.

Continued below…

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This weeks’ feature film of choice is based on the incredible true story of WWE Superstar, Paige. Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for WWE.

But when only Paige earns a spot in the tough, competitive training program, she must leave her family and face this new, harsh world alone.

Paige’s journey pushes her to dig deep, fight for her family, and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.

‘Fighting With My Family’

With Dwayne Johnson on board as executive producer and the likes of Nick Frost, Vince Vaughan and Lena Headley lending their acting chops to the production, director Stephen Merchant has more than a “little help from his friends” in this amazing true to life tale.

Thankfully for him, all involved don’t let him down and combine to produce what is an extremely funny, heartwarming and enjoyable movie.

Simplistic, respectful and solid in its’ subject matter, ‘Fighting with My Family’ also contains quite a few laugh out loud moments courtesy mainly of Nick Frost (as Paige’s father Ricky Knight) and Vince Vaughan (as coach Hutch) who both take on roles that they are comfortable with and have brought them the greatest success in their respective careers.

It is Florence Pugh however, in her role as Paige that is the driving force behind the success of this feature.

Proving that her magnetic performance in Lady Macbeth wasn’t a once off, Pugh displays her comedic and dramatic capabilities here to great effect and makes the central character in the plot a relatable and likable one.

There are some obvious pitfalls to this film too unfortunately. It does at times over egg the sentimentality but you feel that may be to broaden its appeal for a worldwide audience.

Jack Lowden too, as Paige’s brother Zak is outshone to such degree by his co-stars performance that his inability to match her on screen presence is extremely noticeable.

These are minor quibbles, however and if you are looking for a fun way to fill ninety minutes with a few laughs, much fun and a lot of entertainment than look no further than ‘Fighting with My Family’.

3.5/5

• For more of John McCann’s movie reviews, check out his Facebook page here and website here

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