It’s official: people really want to learn how to train their dragons. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third and final entry in the animated franchise, won the weekend box office, hauling in $55.5 million. This is the best debut of any film in the series, probably because audiences couldn’t resist seeing hot older Hiccup and his CGI beard. Meanwhile, Alita: Battle Angel dropped to second place, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part came in third, and Fighting With My Family wrestled its way to fourth place.
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The marketing for Fighting With My Family isn’t shy pushing the Based On A True Story angle, because that’s the type of feel-good entertainment that gets butts in seats. The Stephen Merchant comedy about wrestler Paige and her rise to fame. A new Fighting With My Family featurette peels back the gauzy biopic curtain to focus on the real true story that inspired the film. Check it out below.
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It’s a given that biopics adhere to real life closely but also take creative liberties in order to (hopefully) streamline the experience for great dramatic effect within a two-hour running time. Fighting With My Family is no exception, and it is very accurate, with only a few understandably tweaked elements.
Written and directed by Stephen Merchant (and based on the Channel 4 documentary of the same name that should absolutely be sought out after watching the movie and reading this), the professional wrestling-centered film tells the story of the Knight family, an unorthodox bunch of eccentrically charming British performers from Norwich, Norfolk who run their own independent wrestling league (World Association of Wrestling). The film specifically focuses on daughter Paige (birth name Saraya-Jade Bevis), who finds herself entering the world of professional wrestling.
Let’s take a look at the fact and fiction of Fighting With My Family. What actually happened? What was created for a the movie?
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Through his years of work as a writer, director, and producer (and eventually performer) on such television series as The Office, Extras, Life’s Too Short, and Hello Ladies, Stephen Merchant has proven to be not just one of the great makers of comedy currently working, but also a craftsman of awkward moments. And few moments in life are more awkward than the ones with have with our family, which may have been one of the reasons Dwayne Johnson hand-picked his Tooth Fairy co-star to write and direct Fighting with My Family, the surprisingly engaging and moving film about real-life WWE wrestler Paige (real name Saraya-Jade Bevis and played by Florence Pugh in a career-making turn) and her journey from growing up in a wrestling family in Norwich, England to becoming one of the most successful and popular female wrestlers of all time.
Only Merchant’s second feature film as writer/director (following 2010’s Cemetery Junction), this features a note-perfect group of actors playing Paige’s family, including Nick Frost and Lena Headey as her parents and Jack Lowden (Dunkirk) as brother Zak, who also dreamed of becoming a part of the WWE, only to see his sister do so instead. As much as the film is about a young woman rising through the ranks of wrestling, at its core, it’s a family drama with a great sense of humor and solid supporting roles from the likes of Vince Vaughn, Julia Davis, and Merchant himself, as well as Johnson popping in as himself at key moments in Paige’s ascent.
/Film spoke with Merchant in Chicago, just days after Fighting with My Family debuted at the Sundance Film Festival as a not-so-secret screening to talk about how The Rock convinced him to return to feature directing, making a movie about wrestlers appeal to non-fans of wrestling, and filming the climactic match in front of an audience of thousands. The film is currently playing in limited release and opens nationwide on February 22, 2019.
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Fighting with My Family is a true underdog story about the amateur female wrestler from the United Kingdom who would go on to become the championship Diva known as Paige. Florence Pugh takes the lead role in the film from writer/director Stephen Merchant (the co-creator of The Office), and one more Fighting with My Family trailer highlights the heartfelt and inspiring wrestling comedy before the film hits theaters this weekend. Watch it below. Read More »
Dwayne Johnson now has a huge blockbuster career, but before that, he was one of the most popular professional wrestlers in the world. Now he’s returning to his roots as himself in the new comedy Fighting with My Family, written and directed by Stephen Merchant, the creator of the UK version of The Office.
But this isn’t the story of The Rock. Rather, it’s the true story of Divas wrestler Paige and how she worked her ass off and rose to WWE fame thanks to the support and obsession of her unconventional wrestling family. And the result is not only the wrestling movie fans have always wanted, but one of the best underdog sports movies ever made about a female athlete. Read More »
Did you ever dream of becoming a professional wrestler when you were a kid? Well, in the new comedy Fighting with My Family, British siblings Paige (Florence Pugh) and Zak (Jack Lowden) certainly did, and it’s not something that they’ve given up even as they’ve grown into adults. It just so happens that dreams sometime come true, even in 2018, because they get the call from the WWE to come try out for the big leagues. And they somehow get taken under the wing of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But as the Fighting with my Family trailer shows, they’re not both going to become WWE Superstars. Read More »