As probably the majority of the world knows, the sport of professional wrestling is fake, idiotic, ridiculous and even embarrassing to watch. The new movie “Fighting With My Family” is about an impoverished family of professional wrestlers who desperately try to make a living traveling around small towns and run down arenas near London England. A reality like this is depressing to watch and as soon as you ask yourself why would anyone want to do this for a living, you realize that in poor areas like this for many people, there is no other choice. You are poor, your parents are poor, your parents are wrestlers and where you live is a nightmare, so you do whatever you can to survive.
The last movie about the depressing reality of the wresting profession that has been produced was “The Wrestler” starring Mickey Rourke, released in 2008. The Wrestler was a very good movie and represented a comeback for Rourke due to his outstanding acting. With the wresting profession, like so many other professions like it, we only hear about the very few who made it to the top. It is extremely rare that anyone can parlay this ridiculous sport into acting like Duane Johnson and John Cena. Their success stimulates the fantasies of so many other poor people who think they can be rich and famous too. The road to fame with wrestling is years of performing in horrible arenas around the country while risking a career ending injury by flying in the air and landing on someone or someone landing on you. Why something like this is as popular as it is around the world is a mystery to most of us, but perhaps its popularity is born out of the rage people feel towards their job, their boss or their own depressing life reality.
The good news is that Fighting With My Family is not really just about the wresting profession, its about money, making a living, never giving up, injustice and extreme jealousy. It is also about the realization that unless you are your own boss, your life is very often in the hands of someone else who can decide your fate in an instant.
The brother and sister in this wrestling family played by Florence Pugh as Saraya Knight and Jack Lowden as Zak have dreamed their whole life to be rich and famous wrestlers and after a chance meeting in London with “The Rock” they are both called in to try out to be members of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Then the reality sets in that organizations like the WWE could care less about the dreams of two poor kids who live in the outskirts of London. They only care about making money and they will only choose the very few who have the right look or attitude that they alone judge. Unfortunately, the WWE only wanted Saraya and not Zak and for the rest of the movie the jealousy that Zak feels towards his sister greatly affects their relationship. Unfortunately for Saraya, the life of a wrestler or as women are called, Diva’s is not what she thought it would be and much to my surprise the physical training of all of these athletes is extremely difficult to get through with many people giving up along the way. The final story arc is not unlike a movie like Rocky and even an Officer and a Gentlemen with a singular moment during training that was remarkably similar to a turning point in that movie. The actor Vince Vaughn is very good in a serious role as the trainer of the wrestling recruits.
The Rotten Tomatoes for this film are an extremely high 91% and I give this a solid 95% for this outstanding true story that was turned into a great screenplay. I highly recommend this Fighting With My Family as the best movie so far in 2019.