Fighting With My Family
Pro wrestling finds an unlikely star.
“Is there anything Florence Pugh can’t do?” asked Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times. The 23-year-old British actress who mesmerized us in 2016’s Lady Macbeth shows a completely new side in Stephen Merchant’s “generous, big-hearted” new comedy about the WWE wrestler known as Paige. As the goth-girl brawler from Norwich, England, graduates from local matches staged by her wrestler parents to competing for international stardom, Pugh “piles layer upon emotional layer, every one of them convincing.” Because the WWE invites Paige to America but not her brother, her decision creates a rift in the family, said K. Austin Collins in VanityFair.com. At a WWE Florida boot camp, she’s quickly tested by a demanding coach played by Vince Vaughn, and Pugh’s scenes with Vaughn “might be the best thing in the film.” But Jack Lowden is “equally watchable” as Paige’s disappointed brother, and Fighting With My Family “squeezes some good laughs and even genuine pathos” from the siblings’ diverging life paths, said Leah Greenblatt in Entertainment Weekly. Though many of the plot beats of this sports drama are predictable, “the tears brought on by the last 10 minutes of rhinestoned Rocky triumph taste salty and real.” ■