Review: Fighting With My Family

Elisabetta Pulcini talks about the themes prevalent in recent film Fighting with my Family

Elisabetta Pulcini
11th March 2019
Image: YouTube

Although formulaic at times, ‘Fighting with my Family’ is able to take what could have been a played out message, and turn it into an unexpectedly heart-warming story.

The central theme of the movie revolves around identity. Being a part of a close family does not negate our own character, nor does it lessen the authenticity of our purpose: this is because doing something guided by the influence from our loved ones reveals more about us than anything else. This felt truly refreshing. Often times English and American movies tend to focus on how to break away from the path that seems to be set for us: families are restraining, an entity that needs to be defeated in order to fulfil one’s true destiny. However, the fact that Paige’s purpose is rooted in her family’s history of wrestling feels liberating, because of the strength of her roots. It also serves for some truly touching scenes: the movie draws a beautiful parallel between her being physically distant when she goes to America, and her emotional distance from her brother Zak. It is only by reconnecting with her brother that she is able to find herself again.

‘Fighting with my Family’ is inspiring, direct, and incredibly funny, and should be watched by anyone looking for a positive story.

The movie is also unexpected in the way it draws parallels between success and failure: both can be hard to settle into, and both can be either a blessing or a curse. In this regard, Zak’s arc is particularly relevant. Having to come back from a crushing rejection, he struggles to find purpose in his life, while at the same time being a part of his new family. His story of discovering a newfound meaning from unconventional places completes Paige’s story of finding her confidence. The movie subverts the trope of the ‘makeover’ to tell the viewer that their own self-worth cannot rely on external factors, but rather has to come from a meaningful place.

The movie is also commendable for the way it portrays friendship between women, particularly in a competitive context: it turns the expectation of the ‘mean girls’ on its head, in a way that surprises the viewer as much as Paige herself.

‘Fighting with my Family’ is inspiring, direct, and incredibly funny, and should be watched by anyone looking for a positive story.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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AUTHOR: Elisabetta Pulcini
Film Editor 19/20 and Law (LLB) graduate. An Italian passionate about journalism and the law: always up for a debate. @ElisabettaPul

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