'Fighting with My Family' flops harder than a wrestler from the top rope
This dramedy inspired by a charming documentary is as predictable as a WWE smackdown
A few years ago documentary director Max Fischer made a film for the UK's Channel Four called The Wrestlers: Fighting with my family. It told the story of affable working-class heroes, the Knight family of Norwich - the last great hopes of fading British wrestling and founders of their own low-level wrestling association. It showed them travelling to small towns, putting on shows for depressingly small crowds in pubs.
Patriarch Ricky Knight, supported by his devoted wife Julia, raised their children as participants in the family business and had high hopes for daughter Saraya and son Zak, who they hoped would go on to success in the pro-wrestling's super league of the US's WWE.
Their perseverance was rewarded when Saraya became the youngest non-US woman accepted into the organisation.
The Knights had a particularly British, no-nonsense, working-class charm that gave the documentary an easy-to-root-for tone. Its story attracted the attention of former wrestler and Hollywood box-office drawcard Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson.
Johnson had also come from a wrestling family and related to the bittersweet journey of the Knights. He bought the rights to their story and turned to his friend Stephen Merchant to whip the raw material of Fischer's film into a WWE-supported, family-friendly tale of overcoming adversity and believing in your dreams.
As the geeky giant who is best known as the co-creator with Ricky Gervais of the British series The Office and Extras, Merchant has brought his blend of blackly empathetic humour to a film that fits snugly within the line of British dramedy that's populated screens and predictably put bums on seats for the past two decades.
WATCH | The trailer for Fighting with My Family..