2019 | 107 minutes | Rated PG-13
A heartfelt family wrestling movie from the comedy writer partly responsible for the UK version of The Office? The quality of Stephen Merchant’s directorial debut was never going to be as preordained as the outcome of a pro-wrestling match, but this scrappy underdog might be the most charming, entertaining movie of the young year. The phenomenal Florence Pugh plays real-life wrestler Paige, who went from the youngest in a working-class wrestling family in Norwich, England, to a WWE superstar. Her journey, with family conflicts and self-confidence issues, is not an especially unpredictable one, but Merchant gets every note exactly right, from producer Dwayne Johnson’s appearance as himself to Paige’s rough but irresistibly loveable family (Lena Dunham, Nick Frost, and Jack Lowden). Vince Vaughn as Paige’s coach, too, is perfectly cast—for once—and the movie’s one of those miraculous things that makes you laugh and cry and clap for joy. It just works.
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