The inspiration for Fighting With My Family came from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who stumbled upon the documentary ‘The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family’ during a sleepless night. He immediately pitched the idea to his friend, The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant, who loved it and began writing the script the next day.
The film tells the story of siblings Paige and Zak, played brilliantly by Florence Pugh and Jack Lowden, who were born into a wrestling family and dream of joining the WWE. After both being called for tryouts, only Paige makes the cut, leaving Zak behind in their hometown of Norwich.
Merchant, who has been writing and directing for nearly two decades, shines in his directorial debut. His signature razor-sharp dialogue is present throughout the film, but it’s much deeper than a feel-good comedy. The story is grounded in reality, and the characters feel authentic without falling prey to any sports biopic tropes.
One of the film’s strengths is its realistic portrayal of sibling relationships. Pugh and Lowden are instantly believable as brother and sister, with a balance of mutual respect and jealousy.
Fighting With My Family teaches us that chasing our dreams comes with both highs and lows, and that not achieving our goals doesn’t mean we’ve failed. The film has something for both wrestling fans and those who have never seen a match before.
Overall, Merchant has crafted a wonderful film that is both funny and poignant, reflecting the struggles and triumphs of pursuing one’s dreams. It’s a must-watch for anyone who loves a good story about overcoming adversity.