Daniel Cruse’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Just cause millions of people aren’t cheering while you do it, that doesn’t mean it’s not important.”
2019 was off to a bit of a slow start but lately I’ve been quite impressed with the things I’ve seen both in theaters and on demand from this year. Fighting With My Family is the most surprisingly delightful film I’ve seen thus far.
Stephen Merchant brilliantly brings this heartwarming and uplifting story to the big screen, with clever writing, hilarious dialogue, and an amazing balance of wholesome family fun and heavy drama. This film works on all fronts as a comedy, family film, drama, and biopic. I haven’t left the theater feeling this much inspiration in a long time.
Florence Pugh was absolutely smashing in this role and I’m beyond excited to see her in Ari Aster’s Midsommar now because she killed it as Paige. So charming and likable and she sold the hell out of the more heavyhanded scenes. The supporting cast are mostly there for jokes and comic relief, and the Nick Frost/Lena Headey combo was definitely the funniest part of the movie. The Rock and Vince Vaughn were also great. But Jack Lowden’s portrayal of Zak was also very heartfelt and tragic and I felt so strongly for him at times. I wasn’t familiar with the true story this film is based on so there were moments where I was incredibly worried about how he would turn out.
I loved how though Paige finds incredible success in what she’s wanting to do, the film also focuses a lot on how difficult and complicated it can be to cope with being unable to achieve one’s dream. Because her story is incredibly significant and her talents are worth celebrating and emphasizing but that doesn’t mean that the thousands of people who may never become famous superstars are not just as important and deserving of acclaim.
Today was my first time in a long time going to the movies alone and it was honestly delightful, I had a great time watching this lovely film and I was completely immersed into the story with few distractions around me. I hope many more people see this movie, as the reason I ended up going alone was that few of my friends had heard of it or seemed interested in watching. It’s uplifting and full of passion and joy and I’m very glad to have seen it.