Since it’s debut about twenty years ago, reality shows have become the norm on our television schedules. It is therefore, not surprising that this genre has left no television stone unturned.
Tough Enough (2001-2015) originally aired on MTV before moving to UPN and then the USA Network. The premise is pretty much the same as any competition reality show: thousands of potential contestants send in their tapes. Of those thousands, twenty three are chosen to compete to become professional wrestlers. Over the course of the season, the contestants are eliminated until the winner(s) are chosen as future WWE superstars.
Though I only watched this show while it was on MTV, it was interesting while it was on the air. Granted, it was aimed specifically at the WWE fan base and not the general audience, it was still compelling as a television program. Granted, as time has gone by, it has become just another reality show.
When one is the subject of a biopic, they are normally no longer with us or getting up in age.
The new film, Fighting With My Family, is a biopic about Paige, a wrestler who won the Divas Championship at the young age of 21. To this day, she is the youngest woman to have won the title. Today, she is in her mid 20’s.
Saraya Knight aka Paige (Florence Pugh) lives and breathes professional wrestling. Her parents earn their living and support their family by holding matches and teach wrestling to local kids in Norwich, England. Her dream one day is to be a professional wrestler with the WWE. The opportunity to see this dream become a reality comes by an offer to audition for the WWE. The problem is that Paige passes her audition and her brother Zak, who shares his sister’s dream (Jack Lowden) does not get beyond the initial audition stage.
While Paige faces the hurdle of the next stage in her training, Zak must deal with the idea that his dreams of becoming a professional wrestler will never come to pass. Can Zak make peace with the path that his life has taken and more importantly, does Paige have the fight in her to become the wrestler she has always wanted to be?
I know that it’s too early to create a top ten list of movies released in 2019. But if there was such a list, Fighting With My Family would be pretty high up on the list. The movie has humor, has a heart and is genuinely engaging. Most of all, the message of being yourself and pushing past the obstacles between yourself and your dreams speaks to all of us.