In 1988 he moved to Hollywood. Zak Knight: I’ve always known that. The Rock produced and appears (as himself!) in an amiable family dramedy about the path to glory of real-life WWE champion Paige, but it’s Pugh that makes it hit hard.
fighting with my family imdb rating – FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (2019) The Movie Spoiler
The typical British film” is usually obvious from the outset, it is either a period drama, a rom-com or a feel good” film. The Knight family makes a living in the wrestling game, fully into the theatrics but serious about the skill required. Saraya aka Paige gets her shot through tryouts with the WWE’s developmental league. Brother Zak doesn’t make the cut and returns to Norwich, where he trains kids (including a blind wrestler-to-be) in the ring. Paige, unencumbered by relationships or domestic concerns, is stuck with only her loneliness.
If you’re already familiar with Saraya’s story you won’t be disappointed, as director Stephen Merchant plays to the strengths of the original documentary, pitching his film as a crowd-pleasing, heartfelt family drama. Though it doesn’t dig deeper into the harsh realities that many professional and amateur wrestlers face, this is a welcome addition to a wildly varied cinematic lineage.
Which, of course, leads to the praises of Florence Pugh’s efforts to bring conviction to the role she was cast to play. And, quite frankly, Fighting With My Family is the sort of film that should put Pugh in even higher demand, as she takes every turn in the story with just the right amount of emotion, confrontation, and humanity. It’s this sort of performance that helps tie both the ensemble of characters and the events that they experience together into a cohesive whole, and Florence Pugh does this rather well.
Saraya ‘Paige’ Knight: Um, it’s an escape, isn’t it? From the real world. And when I’m in that ring with my family, working together, flowing together, it feels like the world just disappears. And I sort of feel like I belong somewhere.
Based on the real-life story of the World Wrestling Entertainment Diva champion known professionally as Paige, Fighting With My Family plays out like a WWE match itself. It’s a by-the-numbers underdog story—with bulging muscles, garish tattoos, fleshy curves and full-throated, artery-bulging, arms-above-your-head bellowing.
A real-life story with all the drama of an epic sporting showdown, Fighting With My Family is an absolute knockout. The wrestling may be fake, but the emotion is real. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to be won over by a movie that puts your heart in a headlock.
Elsewhere, Frost is on reliably good form and is given many of the funniest lines. Vince Vaughan plays a believable veteran whose seen Saraya’s story all too often and Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock brings some genuine A-list charisma and credibility to proceedings, even though his involvement in the story isn’t entirely accurate.
Frost particularly is on tremendous form, both in the silly skits – there is a particularly droll scene in which he negotiates a wrestler’s appearance fee based on which blunt instruments he’s prepared to be beaten with – but also the quieter father-daughter moments, where Fighting With My Family’s heart beats strongest. Simple details like a parting glance through Paige’s bedroom door are played with the kind of tenderness you wouldn’t expect to find anywhere near a wrestling ring.
Rising star Jack Lowden grew up in the Scottish Borders. He graduated from the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2011. He has had enormous success on stage in leading roles, including his performance as Oswald in Henrik Ibsen’s “Ghosts”, for which he won both the Ian Charleson Award and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2014; the play was filmed and is available to view online. After an assortment of television and film appearances, his breakout international screen role has been as Nikolai Rostov (Natasha’s brother) in the six-hour BBC miniseries War & Peace (2016), leading to an array of leading roles in films.
Thankfully, the movie snaps back into focus once Paige heads to Florida to join the organization’s NXT program. The character’s intense loneliness and fear of failure will ring true to anyone who’s ever gone out on a limb to reach for bigger and better things. Running in parallel with Paige’s ascension is Zak’s downslide, after he’s confronted with the harsh truth that the dream he’s worked so hard to achieve may never come true.
Fighting With My Family is a shamelessly formulaic sponsored post of a crowd-pleaser that’s also, in its best moments, a genuinely stirring celebration of chase-your-dreams moxie. It presents the Cinderella (origin) story of professional wrestler Paige with just enough scrappy naturalism—enough English working-class spirit—to distract from the familiarity of its sports-movie clichés and general function as an advertisement for a giant entertainment conglomerate. In these respects, it often feels attuned to the appeal of pro wrestling itself: You can watch the film, knowing full well that you’re seeing the dramatic equivalent of a fixed fight, and still get caught up in the blow-by-blow. Here, as in the ring, it all comes down to the performers, and their ability to show us the real in the fake.
Fighting with My Family spends most of its time on Paige’s relationship with the WWE beginning in 2011, when a tryout for a talent scout led to her signing with the company in September of that year. Saraya ‘Paige’ Knight: Yeah. So you can either curl up into a ball and die, or you can live with it and move on and start seeing all the things you’ve got here.
It’s a little surprising that it’s taken this long for the WWE to commission an official biopic for one of its stars. More unexpected still is the pedigree, the unlikely mix of talents, the studio brought together to get it made. The film’s been written and directed by Stephen Merchant, the English comedian who co-created The Office And though WWE Studios mostly exists to generate Hollywood acting roles for its stable of athlete-entertainers, Merchant hasn’t cast the real Paige, a.k.a. Saraya-Jade Bevis, as herself. Instead, he’s handed the role to Florence Pugh, the young breakout star of Lady Macbeth , who’s already established herself as a regally poised costume-drama mainstay. She’s not the first person you might think of to play an earnest aspiring wrestler. And she doesn’t really look, sound, or carry herself like the WWE Divas Champion.
The brood in Fighting With My Family” is a rambunctious crowd. There’s mum and dad Knight, and a handful of adult kids (one’s doing time). Professional wrestlers all, they grapple with one another in and out of the ring while running a gym in Norwich, England. They know how to put on a good show, how to turn the mat into a stage with thumps and grunts, stomps and smashes. The family that smacks down together stays together, or at least that’s the idea in this charmer about love and choreographed war.
Johnson‘s inaugural outing as an indie producer is based on the real-life story of Wrestling Diva” Paige, whose real name is Saraya-Jade Bevis. The youngest of three children living in the English city of Norwich’s poorest wards , Bevis grew up in a family who pulled themselves out of poverty by inventing a local wrestling promotion, World Association of Wrestling — using themselves and their children as headliners. After sending endless tapes of their family’s matches to the WWE, Saraya and her brother were given tryouts and, at the age of 18, the renamed Paige” was accepted into the WWE’s developmental system. She eventually appeared first on NXT, the company’s minor league” division, before moving up to the main roster and winning the Diva’s Championship at the record-setting age of 21.
Saraya is repeatedly told that success depends on engaging her audience, and Pugh shines as she does the same thing for us. Lowden is acutely sympathetic as Zak, and Frost and Headey are fun as Ricky and Julia, but the runaway supporting MVP is Dwayne Johnson, who appears in a pair of key scenes to remind us that The Rock always makes a movie better.
Shaun of the Dead actor Nick Frost also got in on the action as Bevis family patriarch Patrick “Rowdy Ricky” Knight, who Paige describes as hilarious, outspoken, old school, and someone who “doesn’t care what comes out of his mouth.” So when it came to her dad’s own casting, he scoffed at the choice of Frost, whose work he wasn’t familiar with at the time, and, instead, demanded he be played by another British actor, Ray Winstone.
The marketing for Fighting With My Family isn’t shy pushing the Based On A True Story angle, because that’s the type of feel-good entertainment that gets butts in seats. The Stephen Merchant comedy about wrestler Paige and her rise to fame. A new Fighting With My Family featurette peels back the gauzy biopic curtain to focus on the real true story that inspired the film. Check it out below.
Saraya ‘Paige’ Knight: Thank you. Saraya ‘Paige’ Knight: Yeah, we’ve been fans since you had hair. Writer-director Stephen Merchant channels the “Rocky” films in this rousing underdog tale. The seemingly insurmountable challenges test Paige’s faith in herself and that of her anxious family back home.
This is not to say Merchant isn’t a talented comedian; just personally I find him a tad more annoying than funny. For his directorial debut, Merchant has chosen a story of a female wrestler from Norwich. Not going to lie, I never saw that one coming, but I have to give it to the guy; Fighting With My Family might be his best work yet. It’s a charming, funny and heart-warming story and possibly one of the biggest surprises of the year so far.
Fighting With My Family is produced by The Rock and WWE Studios so it naturally has a lot of wrestling cameos. Here’s every WWE reference in the film. Dwayne Johnson’s upcoming wrestling comedy-drama adds Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) and Nick Frost (The World’s End) to its all-U.K. cast.
Fighting With My Family is based on the true story of Sareya-Jade Bevis, better known to the world as WWE Superstar Paige (Florence Pugh). Raised by parents with a devotion to wrestling (Nick Frost & Lena Headey,) Paige and her brother (Jack Lowden,) aspired to try out for the WWE. Soon, the siblings found themselves on the road to tryouts, with Paige going the distance to become the youngest WWE Divas champion.
Like with fellow British underdog comedy-drama Eddie the Eagle , the reason that Fighting with My Family is so effective – despite sticking to the formula – is the hugely likeable cast supporting Pugh and Lowden. This includes Nick Frost and Lena Headey as Saraya’s wrestling fanatic parents and Vince Vaughn doing his best Full Metal Jacket impression as Saraya’s hard-ass coach.
To say this family is entertaining is an understatement, Ricky and Julia being especially delightful as they dole out four-letter words and other colorful language in their thick English accents. To Zak and Saraya, this life — which sees their parents scraping by financially — is perfectly normal.
The sequel to “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” is completely superior to the first, for whatever that’s worth. Jon M. Chu’s film kills off most of the cast members from the original and lets new characters, led by Johnson, take center stage. In the film, the sinister organization Cobra has taken over America and declared war on the Joes, and the only thing that can stop them is badass action sequences and nonsensical but entertaining plot devices. It’s still a dumb movie, but it’s a fun one, and the mountaintop ninja centerpiece – inspired by the legendary comic book story “Silent Interlude” – is alone worth the price of admission.
Separating them is impossible. Johnson doesn’t show up until the fifth (official) entry in the “Fast & Furious” series, and he sits out a lot of the seventh movie, but he’s a big part of what made this franchise jump from a decent series of car-racing movies to one of the best and biggest action franchises on the planet. He’s the ultimate foil for Vin Diesel’s seemingly unstoppable antihero, and when he joins the team his heroism makes all these unrepentant thieves seem more likable than ever. And of course, these films have some of the best action sequences around. They’re cheesy, they’re absurdly emotional, and they are a ton of fun.
But then there are the performances. Pugh is terrific, imbuing Paige with a persuasive mix of feistiness and fear, her Stateside experiences an effective reminder of the pangs of youthful homesickness. Both she and Lowden have learned enough moves and Norwich vowels to convince, and Frost is immensely enjoyable as the brash ex-con dad who thinks nothing of slamming a bowling ball into the crotch of a (consenting) wrestler on his books.
Left: Saraya Knight (aka Paige) and her brother Zak Knight (aka Zak Zodiac). Right: Actors Jack Lowden and Florence Pugh portray the siblings in the movie. 2019, PG-13, 108 min. Directed by Stephen Merchant. Starring Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, Vince Vaughn, Dwayne Johnson.
Merchant introduces us to the Knights, the family who has wrestling in their blood. Siblings Saraya and Zak have been wrestling since they were kids, cheered on by their wrestling-crazy parents. Now as teenagers, they teach wrestling to the kids in the neighbourhood at headquarters of WAW, The World Association of Wrestling, run by their parents. The siblings are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity; audition for the WWE. At the audition, Saraya excels and is the only one picked from the group, leaving Zak devastated. As she departs for America, the land of dreams, Zak must stay behind in Norwich and both their relationship and dreams are stretched and questioned.
The women’s division actually rose with the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, fell back when she lost, and rose again in the last year as society once again pushed forward on women’s rights. Paige’s career has little to do with any of that, as it existed mainly during an in-between era of women’s wrestling after they stopped pushed Blonde Barbie girls for the Diva’s pink butterfly belt, but before the company began developing women who can really wrestle at the same level as men.
If that easy intimacy is a source of strength for Fighting With My Family, its greatest weakness is the nakedly commercial instincts that engineered it. The extended cameo appearance by executive producer Dwayne Johnson move some tickets, but it’s too distracting to work in context.
Based on the real Paige, WWE professional wrestler’s story, that was originally a documentary shown on Channel 4 in 2012. The story has all the elements of biographical sports comedy drama, British wrestler makes dreams come true in America. But Stephen Merchant doesn’t make this story all about being an unlikely underdog or a fairy tale come true, thankfully there is wit in the dialogue, some lifted directly from the documentary and the comedy is actually funny and uplifting. With the right balance, the film doesn’t fall under at the dramatic moments, such as when Paige is feeling overwhelmed and isolated or when she and Zak have an argument about him stealing his dreams. In fact, it feels more like a family drama as the they are close knit and share so much more in common than the average family.
The Knight family makes a living in the wrestling game, fully into the theatrics but serious about the skill required. Saraya aka Paige gets her shot through tryouts with the WWE’s developmental league. Brother Zak doesn’t make the cut and returns to Norwich, where he trains kids (including a blind wrestler-to-be) in the ring. Paige, unencumbered by relationships or domestic concerns, is stuck with only her loneliness.
Both kids manage to score tryouts with the WWE, but only Saraya is signed by talent scout Hutch (Vince Vaughn). The bulk of the film deals with their individual struggles, as Saraya (now going by the stage name Paige) fights to prove herself in far-off Florida, while Zak tries to make sense of a life that will not include his dream job.
The true story of the biggest cash heist in American history isn’t nearly as interesting as you might think. In this competent but unremarkable drama, Liam Hemsworth and Michael Angarano pull off the crime, while Johnson takes a thankless supporting role as the cop hunting them down, who has no personality traits to speak of. There’s a reason most people don’t know this movie exists. It’s for Dwayne Johnson die-hards only.
Writer-director Merchant (who has a small part in the film), a co-writer and co-director of the original The Office,” among other collaborations with Ricky Gervais, certainly knows how to mine laughs from his script, whether it’s broad physical shtick or dryly funny one-liners. What comes as a bit of a surprise is how often Fighting With My Family” is genuinely moving, and how a handful of seemingly stock characters turn out to be something … well, something more.
The film is based on the true story of English wrestler Saraya Paige” Bevis (Florence Pugh) and her journey from growing up in a family of wrestlers in Norwich, to trying to be signed by the WWE, the biggest professional wrestling company in the world, after impressing at a try-out.
To say a movie is entertaining” is often damning with faint praise. Watching funny YouTube videos about goats can be entertaining. Scrolling through Twitter can be entertaining. To say something is entertaining is often to suggest it has met the very low bar of not being so boring that you gave up before it ended. But there’s an art to making a truly entertaining movie – the kind of movie in which the acting sells an unusual story, the details draw you in, and you go 100+ minutes without ever discreetly checking the time on your cell phone. Fighting with My Family is that kind of entertaining movie.
Zak Knight : WAW, up in Norwich. You’ve probably heard of it. Fighting With My Family focuses more on Paige’s WWE career. Stephen Merchant’s theatrical adaptation stars Florence Pugh as Paige, along with Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey and Vince Vaughn.