I have never liked wrestling. I grew up in the golden-age of the World Wrestling Entertain (WWE), which when I was young was known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). But then the World Wildlife Fund (also WWF) did not appreciate the comparison to the muscle-bond chaos (or “It’s like coke, crack, and heroin combined” as the movie described it) that is a typical night in the ring. Through litigation the World Wildlife Fun made the wrestlers to change their name. But I digress.
Thus I went into Fighting With My Family with a bit of apprehension, anticipating that there was going to be little to which I could relate. Instead, I was reminded of a lesson that should be at the forefront of my thoughts at all times as a practicing Christian: that all God’s creatures are capable of genuine love. Full disclosure: I tend to negatively judge wrestling not just by its content but also by its fans. I need to reassess this because while I do not care for it, fair play to them. After all, Jesus hung out with tax collectors, the Biblical equivalent of wrestling aficionados in this scenario.
As it turned out, there was much that I could identify with in Fighting With My Family. The bonds of the Knight family are genuine, which I did not expect, and that was snobbish of me. Yet it was not in a Hallmark movie of the week sort of way, particularly when Saraya Knight (Florence Pugh) realizes the dream of becoming a WWE wrestler when it was really her brother, Zak Knight (Jack Lowden), who was probably best suited for that life. Still, even if the resolution of the resulting tension was predictable, the journey to it was heartwarming. The loss of a dream can be a powerful, real emotion, and yet it was the strength of the family at the center of this film that made it worthwhile, and this despite the artificiality of the wrestling backdrop.
Fighting With My Family did not make me a fan of wrestling. But I do recommend the film. It is amazing to think sometimes that some of the poorest and strangest people in society are often the most gentle. As a Christian, I wish I did not need Hollywood to remind us of that fact.