This comedy takes people through the real-life story of WWE superstar Paige.
The most surprising thing about this wrestling movie is that it will make you cry. Why? Because it comes flying off with both comedy and emotion which takes you on the lows and highs.
The new movie directed by Steven Merchant is based on a documentary about a wrestling-mad family which recalls the real-life story of WWE champion Paige- Saraya –Jade Bevis who was born on 17th August 1992. Paige is now a retired professional wrestler.
Paige was born in Norwich, England. Already popular in the UK, Paige was spotted by WWE, and she was signed, and her US stardom began. Unfortunately, her more grapple-mad brother was left behind.
The film opens with Paige and her brother Zak Zodiac building a community around a love for wrestling. However, Zak is in danger when Paige goes to the US to join The Rock and friends in the big leagues of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Fighting With My Family premiers at the Sundance Film Festival in the US on February 14, the UK on March 1 and Australia on March 21.
It is co-produced by The Rock, Dwayne Johnson as well as the WWE’s filmmaking arm.
The film is like The Wrestler meets The Full Monty. However, it is a heartfelt comedy that involves family, the community, escape and redemption. It can be compared to The Fighter meets Skins, in Norwich.
Florence Pugh has an entirely different look from the epic, Outlaw King. She is Paige in this movie. While at it, Nick Frost is Paige’s dad as he comes in with a lovable and witty personality. Game of Thrones star Lena Headey is Paige’s mother, a former wrestler. Both parents struggle between pushing their children and pushing them too far.
Jack Lowden is Paige’s brother. In Fighting With My Family, he brings in a masculine intensity but is a disappointed young fighter.
The director, Steven Merchant, has adopted a style where he finds epic emotion in family life. The film brings to light the superstar’s glitz and glamour of WWE as well as family life.
Not only does the movie highlight the bittersweet ups and downs of this family, but it also shows the importance of sporting activities to the communities. The idea here is to show the importance of building something right home not just escape.
Instead of kids who see no future for themselves getting into drugs and violence, this movie gives them hope. They can indulge in sports which could be their way out of the vices.
Some of the working class obsessions like wrestling- Motorhead and Iron Maiden rock the soundtrack and they improve life where they are as they build the community through purpose.
For the hardcore WWE fans, this movie is perfect as it highlights Paige’s journey to become prominent in the US wrestling arena. It further shows how she competes with models and cheerleaders who are not in the ring because of their skills, while Vince Vaughan acts as a jaded coach.
For dramatic purposes, Saraya is continually wrestling with doubt which brings out the real Paige’s personality and drives.
The movie skips over Paige’s time in the US which brings the climax. Usually, for any sports movie, the real victory isn’t the title or belt in the contest. It is when people overcome their fears and flaws which allow them to win.
This story is not about winning a belt but rather, a family fighting the odds.
Even in the real wrestling world, people need to know how to balance everything even their finances as they may find themselves in debt. Debt means a poor credit score. However, your credit score may be caused by an error and credit companies can help with that. You can learn more here to straighten things up.
Aside from the finances, the climax takes a twitch of Wrestlemania. Even so, it still doesn’t put off people as they get some WWE Raw action.
If anything, the Rock is in Fighting With My Family! It brings back memories of Paige when she debuted in WWE in 2014.
What stands out is that even if the wrestling is not real, the film sparks up some real emotions. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to be won over by the movie.
A notable achievement when Paige debuted WWE in 2014, she won the Divas Championship which made her the youngest champion in the title’s history. Paige was 21 by then.
Paige announced her retirement on 10 April 2018, and she was declared the general manager of SmackDown. However, on 17th December, the McMahon family announced they would be taking charge, they quietly removed the general manager position.
fThe movie is one to look out for. Comedy plus action is a great combination. Be prepared to be won over.
Exclusive: WWE Superstar Paige Says ‘Fighting With My Family’ Captured Her Family Perfectly
Paige’s path to the becoming WWE’s next Divas Champion is similar to that of the hardy hellebore flower–– both were forged by cold, bitter winds, relentlessly fighting for survival.
The Knockturnal had a blast speaking with Paige about her endless love for her “batshit crazy” family, what it takes to become a WWE wrestler, and how she ended up at Snoop Dogg’s pad.
Fighting With My Family opens in Los Angeles and New York on February 14, 2019, and everywhere on February 22, 2019.
The Knockturnal: What does it feel like having both a documentary and biopic made about you by 26?
Paige: When it comes to documentaries, I am so used to them growing up because my parents just wanted to be in front of the camera all the time. So we had so many documentaries done–– to the point where I was a tiny baby in the bath and my mom is bathing me. The movie side of things is just so bizarre and very surreal because, obviously, I never thought that at 26 I would be talking to you about a movie based on my life; especially when a producer like Dwayne the Rock Johnson and a writer-director like Stephen Merchant…it just blew my mind.
The Knockturnal: You totally had an all-star team behind this project.
Paige: Yeah! I was like, “What the hell, look at this team we have going on here. This is a messed-up Brady Bunch in the best way.” So, yeah, I feel very fortunate and very happy, and it is just incredible.
The Knockturnal: I can only imagine that watching Fighting With My Family for the first time was a nerve-wracking experience. What was going through your head?
Paige: I had just come back from an injury and did rehab at the performance center, and–– this was a year ago–– Stephen came and was like, “Look, it is not finished yet, but I have the movie.” Then, he said, “I can’t sit in this room and watch it with you.” So I am just sitting by myself in a room like this, you know, and he was like, “I’m going to sign out here, and you text me when you are done.” I put it on, and I was just crying the whole time–– it was so insane. I had to watch it again a couple months later, you know, to let it really sink in, and it was just so beautifully done–– and so true-to-story! It was 95% true.
The Knockturnal: I remember watching the documentary beforehand; then the movie, and the resemblance between your family and the actors is uncanny. I think they really captured everyone in your family.
Paige: Especially my parents, dude. They are batshit crazy, honestly! But my mom should be here today–– she is flying in.
The Knockturnal: I interviewed Lena before and learned that they are meeting for the first time this evening. That’s crazy!
Paige: Yeah, it is so funny. I’m just like, “Good luck with that one. You know, the first thing she’ll try to do is dry-hump you, or she’ll grab your tits. One of those.”
The Knockturnal: I guess those are just signs of love.
Paige: Exactly, that is how my mom shows appreciation and love to you. They have also seen it and loved it, but my dad–– the first thing he thought about was how he wanted Ray Winston to play him, and so when I told him Nick Frost was going to do it, he was like, “Who is Nick Frost?!” And I’m like, “Dad, he is incredible! An incredible actor.” My dad is old-school: he likes Zulu, he likes Laurel and Hardy, he likes old-school stuff. And so, when he saw it, he said, “Yeah, it is actually pretty good.” And I said, “Dad, he did you to a tee. He was perfect.” My dad loves him now, like loves him.
The Knockturnal: Is there something special about professional wrestling that differentiates it from every other sport–– and others source of entertainment?
Paige: Well, this one has the theatrics with it–– it is soap opera in spandex. I love it though. I mean, if it is just wrestling consistently, people are not going to keep watching, but a lot of people watch TV for the storylines, right? And so, that is why every other sport is seasonal because if you watch it all the time, it isn’t going to be that exciting. Where with the WWE, we don’t have any off-seasons because we have stories and that keeps people interested.
The Knockturnal: How are you crafting that story to begin with?
Paige: We have a writing team and they figure out what we want. They give us a story and then we have to make it into a match. We like to plan matches out, you know, like in a movie where there is a bad guy and a good guy, and maybe a chase scene as well–– that is how a match is structured too.
The Knockturnal: At the end of the movie, it mentions that you were one of the WWE wrestlers to help jumpstart the “Diva’s Revolution.” Within and beyond, what do you believe media companies do to ensure that women are seen and heard?
Paige: Well, right now they are really doing an incredible job with it, and the world is really is doing the same thing. This movie really came out at the right time–– it is the era of the female. Female athletes are such a big deal right now. You look at Ronda Rousey who is now in the WWE, and she made her mark in UFC and was the main event in that. Now, she is the main event in the WWE, so right now people are doing a really good job. I think it should transition naturally, instead of forcing it down people’s throats.
The Knockturnal: Were there any moments in your real life story that wish made it into the film?
Paige: I think it’s good for now, although a sequel would be very interesting. I always say that, but there is only so much you can put into a movie before it gets too long. It was originally a lot longer, but they had to cut, you know because it was over two hours.
The Knockturnal: What did it mean to have your family alongside your journey to the WWE?
Paige: I am very fortunate with the family I have. They are batshit crazy, but they are my batshit crazy family, and I love them for it. They are so supportive and so loyal, and I am so happy they are getting the exposure they always wanted, but that they also deserve.
Wrestling is predetermined. Some even call it fake. I myself have used that term, not really thinking. As a kid, I loved it. It lost some of its appeal to me as an adult, but lately it has had some nostalgic value. So, I was a prime target for Fighting with My Family, a true life sports tale that gives professional wrestling a Rocky type story to tell. Even if you couldn’t care less about wrestling, this is still entertaining and inspirational. The movie is funny, heartwarming, and will literally make you stand up and cheer. Usually that’s just a cliched critic’s quote, but here it’s just plain the truth.
The film is a sports biopic about professional wrestler Saraya “Paige” Bevis (Florence Pugh), who shocked the world of sports entertainment when she defied the odds and became the youngest Women’s Champion in WWE history. When we first meet her, she’s just part of a wrestling family in a small English town. Her father Patrick “Rowdy Ricky Knight” Bevis (Nick Frost) and her mother Julia “Sweet Saraya” Bevis (Lena Headey) met through wrestling and now run an independent wrestling organization. Their crown jewel is Saraya’s brother Zak “Zodiac” Bevis (Jack Lowden), who dreams of a career with WWE. When the company notices them and invites both to a tryout, Saraya is the only one picked. As she goes off to train in America under the tutelage of Hutch Morgan (Vince Vaughn), Zak struggles to deal with his dream being over. Re-christened Paige, she begins working towards the goal of getting a WWE contract. It’s safe to say what ends up happening, but watching it unfold is truly terrific. Stephen Merchant writes, directs, and co-stars, with Vik Sharma providing the music, while Remi Adefarasin handles the cinematography. Supporting players include Dwayne Johnson, among many others.
I adored this picture. It mixes comedy, drama, and inspirational sports movie beats into a package that’s nearly impossible to resist. Pugh is a revelation, investing you perfectly in her journey. She’s quietly fantastic here. Johnson mixes in being The Rock with himself to put forward a cameo that may actually be his best on screen work to date. Then, there’s the wrestling. The film leans in to its predetermined roots, but still manages to get your heart racing when the inevitable final match begins. The beats may not be original, but the execution is top notch. Whether you know her story or not, Paige and her quest compels you thoroughly.
In a few ways, this flick resembles not only Rocky, but Warrior as well. The former shares its true life underdog roots, while the latter has a closer pull in terms of intensity and even occasionally with plot points. Mostly though, Fighting with My Family is its own beast, just comparable to those two because the quality is there as well. It won’t get cited for Oscar attention like those did, but even without love from the Academy, this is still one of the stronger works of 2019 so far. It follows a Hollywood outline from start to finish, but it does it better than you’d ever expect.
This weekend, audiences will be in for a crowd pleasing treat when Fighting with My Family opens up. It is unabashedly mainstream entertainment, but that heartwarming spirit is part of what serves it well. Combine that with some tremendous humor, Johnson’s cameo as The Rock, Pugh’s star making turn, and the overall sense of earned emotion, what you get is a film that’s easy to fall in love with. This isn’t a movie likely to rewrite the rules of cinema, but it is one that will make you smile almost from start to finish. When real life is as insane as it is right now, what more can you ask for?