Fighting With My Family

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Florence Pugh, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Jack Lowden, Vince Vaughn, Dwayne Johnson

Release date: 2019

4 out of 5


Actor/writer/director Stephen Merchant turns the true story of a family of Norwich wrestlers into a warm and hilarious comedy drama that will have you cheering in the aisles.

The Knight family – dad Ricky (Frost), mum Julia (Headey) and kids Zak (Lowden) and Saraya (Pugh) – are a family of wrestlers. Throwing moves in their portable ring, they scrape a living entertaining locals but dream of the big time and the ultimate goal of becoming a WWE wrestler like The Rock and John Cena.

But when Zak and Saraya – who chooses the stage name of Paige – get the chance to try out for American WWE coach Hutch (Vaughn), it is Paige that is picked, leaving her bitter brother and family behind for a tough training camp in Florida that could lead to failure or the chance to wrestle for TV audiences of millions.

As with Billy Elliot, where you didn’t have to care about ballet to enjoy Billy’s story, Fighting With My Familyis a joy whether you like wrestling or have never seen it before. It’s about family and Paige’s journey more than it is about the sport, but the wrestling scenes are hugely enjoyable and a terrific cameo from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (an executive producer on the film) adds to the movie’s charm.

At its heart, though, is the crude, loveable Knight family. Frost (in his best role since Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy), Headey and Lowden are all superb, but Pugh really shines as the raven-haired teenage wrestler suddenly given a chance at the big time. Her wrestling moves are impressive, and her lovely performance is one of the many reasons to see this rude, funny, feelgood movie.

Is Fighting With My Family suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This is a 12A certificate movie in the UK (PG-13 in the US) and is aimed at older kids and adults. There is strong language, references to drugs, references to sex and some general crudeness!

Obviously, because it is a movie about wrestling, there are scenes of wrestling fights. There is also one fight in a pub.

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