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Fighting With My Family


Stars: Florence Pugh, Vince Vaughn, Dwayne Johnson, Nick friost, Lena Headey, Jack Lowden. Stephen Merchant

Director: Stephen Merchant

Pugh, fresh from playing TV"s The Little Drummer Girl, demonstrates her versatility in this re-creation of the story of the youngest 'diva' champion in women's wrestling history. But the film, though funny in patches, never really shows us why 'Paige' (Pugh) - real name Saraya Knight - from Norwich in England, found herself, shortly after surviving a gruelling wrestling 'boot camp', run by promoter Hutch (Vaughn), getting pitched straight away into a bout with the world champion.

But apparently it did happen, although one suspects some telescoping of events here.

Paige herself is the youngest member of a trailer-trash wrestling-mad family. Mohawk-haired Dad (Frost) is just back from an eight-yesr stretch for 'some violence and a bit of armed robbery'. Red-and-black-haired Mum (Headey) says wrestling rescued her from 'living on the streets', older son Jack is in prison and younger son Zak (Hayden), like Paige, who sports her mother's trademark lip ring, dreams of fame and fortune in the grunt-and-grspple ring, in a 'sport' that attracts audiences in their tens of thousands.

In a mass trial for future UK hopefuls, Paige is taken on by Hutch, while Jack is rejected and let to mope at home with new wife and baby son.

That's one of the more serious moments in what emerges as down-and-dirty feelgood stuff.

David Quinlan

UK/USA 2017. UK Distributor: LionsGate (MGM/Film 4). Colour by Panalux.
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Feb 2019