Comedic actor and writer Stephen Merchant (Logan, 2017) has given us an unlikely story of family, courage, and wrestling.
Although this is only Merchant's second time directing a feature film, he shows talent for lighthearted storytelling. Fighting with My Family is a biographical film about a working class family in England who all perform together as amateur wrestlers at small venues around their country. The teenage brother and sister of this rowdy family get a rare opportunity to try out for a professional developmental wrestling boot camp in Florida and potentially join World Wrestling Entertainment, finally living their dream.
This is a heartfelt, sincere, plucky film that nicely explores the work behind professional wrestling in a way that's entertaining even for viewers who aren't fans of wrestling. Lots of poignant moments of hard work and inner struggle are mixed with fun moments of comedy. The ending is far too schmaltzy and maudlin, but Fighting with My Family is not a bad night at the theater for young families and people who need a good laugh. It's not going to win any awards, but at least it offers a fun time.