The Rock Dwayne Johnson heads across the pond to the UK to bring the true story of Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis) to the big screen. The inspirational British woman rose to professional wrestling stardom by winning the Divas Championship first time out at just 21 years of age.
Born in Norwich, England, to a wrestling family – her father (played by Nick Frost) and mother (Lena Headey) are both professional wrestlers – Saraya-Jade (stand out performance by Florence Pugh) wrestles in local circles under the name Britani Knight. Both Britani and her brother Zak (Jack Lowden) were taught wrestling as youngsters and it’s both their dreams to win the ultimate prize in WWE.
Off the back of submitting demonstration videos to WWE, they are stunned to be accepted to try out. However, WWE coach Hutch (Vince Vaughan) chooses Britani. Zak is crushed and begins a downward spiral that not even the birth of his son can prevent. Away from home and family, Britani struggles. The training is tough, making friends with the other girls is a challenge, and she fails to win over fans. Both she and Hutch question her commitment. It all becomes too much, so she returns home. When she does, she sees the life she’d be returning to if she quit for good.
Reinvigorated, Paige as she is now known, returns to the US, pushing herself in training and for acceptance. Following her first demonstration fight, the film narrative skips a few beats – she meets her idol The Rock for an inspirational pep talk before she steps in to the ring to compete for the Diva championship.
It’s a funny film – the script penned by British comedian Stephen Merchant who also directs and stars in the film – crafts fantastic one liners for Nick Frost and the cast. Jack Lowden, recently seen in Mary, Queen of Scots delivers with just the right measure of hopelessness as Zak who on losing his first love, finds a renewed purpose with wrestling. Given the arena of WWE, it’s not a flashy or over-the-top story.
Fighting With My Family opens nationally on Thursday 21 March 2019.
About Fighting With My Family
Written and directed by: Stephen Merchant
Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Dwayne Johnson, Vince Vaughan