Can the true tale of a real, live WWE wrestler really be sweet and tender?
Well, as far as these things can go, Fighting for My Family did put a bit of a lump in my throat, and not from any sort of chop to the Adam’s apple, either.
Directed and written by Stephen Merchant, this biopic dramatizes the tale of WWE wrestler Paige, who rose from London where she was born into a wrestling-crazed family as Saraya-Jade Bevis, to some pretty incredible heights in the WWE galaxy.
And she started as the least obsessed member of her family, which includes parents that swore wrestling saved them from their very despicable prior lives and a brother who’s certain that it will lift him from his place within the wrestling school and local bouts they orchestrate in their hometown of Norwich, England.
It’s quite the tale.
Vince Vaughan provides his star power as the WWE rep sent over to find any needle in the world haystack, and he does a good job as a guy who barks and threatens but may have an eye for big things after all.
Dwayne The Rock Johnson too stands out by playing himself, cocky as that wrestling star and not afraid to bellow and show why he is what he is.
But the best work comes from the actors who portray The Family members. Nick Frost lumbers and loves ‘em as dad Ricky, and Lena Headey turns heads and minds as evocative and provocative mom Julia. But it is Jack Lowden as sensitive brother Zak, who shows every crack in his soul as the one left behind to cope, and Florence Pugh, as Saraya/Paige, who learns so much in the fight, who carry this surprise of a documentary to very good things.