Australian Council on Children and the Media

Fighting with My Family

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Not recommended for children under 12 and parental guidance to 13 (violence, distressing themes, coarse language, substance use).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Fighting with My Family
  • a review of Fighting with My Family completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 March 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to violence, distressing themes, coarse language, and substance use.
Children aged 12–13 Parental guidance recommended.
Children over the age of 13 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Fighting with My Family
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Crude sexual humour and violence
Length 109 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Fighting with my Family is a biopic based on the true story of WWE wrestler Paige, who went from her gritty childhood in Norwich, England, to becoming the youngest female to win the WWE women’s title. 

In Norwich, England, the Knights are a family of avid wannabe wrestlers and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fans. They have fought their way through poverty, crime, and hardship to live a normal life.  After countless audition tapes, daughter and son duo Saraya (Florence Pugh) and Zak (Jack Lowden), are given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for the WWE.  When only Saraya makes it through the first round of try outs, she must decide whether pursuing her wrestling dreams is worth risking her relationship with Zak.  As she takes the plunge into the cutthroat and ultra-competitive training program, under her new wrestling name Paige, the pale, black-wearing teenager from England finds herself wondering whether she has what it takes to be a WWE star, when all those around her are models and dancers.  Ultimately, Paige discovers that the things that set her apart from her polished competitors, may be the very things that help her gain WWE fame. 

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family; drug and alcohol use/dependence; crime; poverty.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • WWE-style wrestling throughout the film.
  • One man is hit in the face with a garbage can lid during wrestling practice and another man is hit in the groin with a bowling ball during wrestling practice. This is for comic effect.
  • Reference to violent crimes being committed.
  • A character is slammed onto thumbtacks during a wrestling match.
  • Zak and Paige wrestle – Zak becomes aggressive and genuinely hurts Paige.
  • Zak starts a fight in a pub (includes punches; throwing billiard balls; threating with a billiard cue).

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Footage from real WWE matches is shown. The male wrestlers are large and frightening in appearance and they may distress young children.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Apart from the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are no scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • During a semi-choreographed wrestling match between Zak and his sister Paige, Zak becomes legitimately rough toward her, performing wrestling moves that are intended to hurt her. This may be distressing to this age group, as both Paige and her parents (who are watching the match) are clearly distressed by the risk to Paige’s safety.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Apart from the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are no scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • WWE
  • Underarmour clothing
  • HP Laptop
  • Vitamin Water
  • Smartphones (Apple and Samsung)
  • Lonsdale clothes
  • Bud Light Beer
  • LG TV

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • References to pornography.
  • A husband and wife kiss passionately.
  • Crude references to getting someone pregnant, e.g. “Got her up the duff”
  • Reference to women becoming strippers.
  • A character gets a “stiffy” during wrestling practice, it is not shown.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Both women and men involved in wrestling wear limited, and often revealing, clothing.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Reference to cocaine, crack, and heroin use
  • Drug dealing
  • Drinking in pub
  • References to alcoholism
  • Smoking of cigarettes

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Fuck
  • Shit
  • Bollocks
  • Bastard
  • Wanker
  • Tits
  • Cock
  • Dick/Dickhead
  • Bugger
  • Arse
  • Ball Bag
  • Prick
  • Shut up
  • Bloody Hell

In a nutshell

Fighting with my Family is a somewhat standard sports biopic from comedian and writer Stephen Merchant, relying on fairly convenient narrative jumps to reach its conclusion. The stand out performance by Jack Lowden as Zak makes the film an enjoyable watch.  This film is likely to be enjoyed by ages 13 and above, however parental guidance is recommended for those aged 12-13 due to violence, distressing themes, language, and substance use.  

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Do not judge others before you get to know them. Everyone has their own journey with unique hardships and battles.
  • Working together to get through difficult times is better than trying to do it alone.
  • Being grateful for the positive things in life, especially when things aren’t going your way.

 

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Drug and alcohol use.
  • Drug dealing.
  • The physical risks of copying wrestling moves without knowing how to do them.

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