JakeBaker’s review published on Letterboxd:
Not gonna lie, this film was nowhere near my priority list. Then the film received a ton of good praise so I thought why not. Despite not being a wrestling fan, this movie was a surprisingly good time.
Fighting with My Family does lack in certain areas though. When things started, I wasn’t very hopeful. The first act lacks any captivating qualities. Of course movies like these are going to explore the early years of the movie’s main character but in Fighting with My Family doesn’t do it very well. The first act is by the numbers with some very bad child actors. Also throughout the film it is extremely apparent Fighting with My Family lacks any decent cinematography. Most of the shots and framing are amateur at best and that was blatantly obvious and disappointing. Then lastly I feel it could’ve benefited from five extra minutes. The ending ends fairly abruptly and it left me wanting just a tad bit more closure.
Besides those few issues, boy did this film surprise. First off, the phenomenal performances from Florence Pugh, Nick Frost, and Vince Vaughn. Pugh wasn’t anywhere near a household name before this film but she deserves that recognition for this performance. She truly embraces Saraya Knight’s real life story and does it justice. She has a phenomenal ability at selling emotional and physical pain that was only teased in Outlaw King. Nick Frost was a treat as always. The way he carries his performances in a delightful and entertaining way is unlike a lot of actors working today. Whenever he’s on screen he is always the focus point and he never disappoints. Vince Vaughn doesn’t disappoint as well. It is a Vince Vaughn performance but he feels very at home in his role and you felt that. When it comes to the rest of the cast, they’re good, not a whole lot of complaints.
Fighting with My Family is very much a crowd pleaser but it’s well written, well directed, and well acted. The hard hitting drama doesn’t feel phony. The dialogue is very captivating and the screenplay builds a successful relationship between the viewer and the characters. The humor is also very unique, most of the jokes hit and it was successful balancing tones as the film went.
If you aren’t a wrestling fan, don’t rule this film out. It’s a very inspirational story that anyone can enjoy and the acting, humor, and well done writing only helps that statement.