It's not that I have never been a part of a sports team in my life, because I have, on many occasions actually. You can't grow up in Australia and completely avoid being involved in some kind of sport at some point in your life. Australia and a love of all things sport related goes hand in hand, and when I was growing up if you weren't good at sports or interested in sport you were a total freak. Even the most unfit beer-bellied blokes in my street would talk about the footy, watch the cricket and squat on the couch to catch the highlights from the Bathurst car rallies. You don't need to be fit to love your sport in Australia, you just have to love it, and if you don't, well you are just weird.
Growing up I was on a softball team, a footy team, a table tennis team, a beach volleyball team and once I was even part of a calisthenic squad. As a teenager I danced ballet, ballroom and even tried my hand at Taekwondo, but none of it stuck. I always thought that TV sports were dead boring and could never see any purpose in watching other people 'do' sport. The only part of the Olympics that I have ever really gotten into was the opening ceremony, and I have always considered competitions that awarded people for being the fastest and strongest and most physical enduring really archaic and rather uninspiring. However, as I said earlier, I understand that it serves a purpose as entertainment, but it has just never entertained me.
I never kept up with any of the sports that I have been involved in, and over the years sports related activities have become of lower and lower priority and interest to me. I know that people are incredibly devoted to their sports, to their teams and to their sporting heros, but I am not and never will be a part of those ranks. And it still makes me an outcast to not be involved in, or at the very least enthusiastic about, sports. It is almost a prerequisite to society in Australia to love sport, in some way, in some fashion. And even though there's a plethora of sports to get behind and support, I honestly don't have any interest in knowing any more about any of them.
I completely understand that people devote their lives to their sports, and hey....go them! Seriously, big props to that, but it doesn't inspire me to get involved. From what I have gleaned about professional sportsmanship, and I can only give an outsider's perspective on this, it seems elitist, corrupt, controlled, sexist, marketed and unnatural in every way. I have seen interviews with sport people that have left me feeling very sad about how inflated their egos are and how little regard they appear to have for their young and influential fans, and nothing that I have learned about sports as an adult has made me want to get back on board yet.
However, that being said, every once and a while a sports story comes along that breaks the mold and makes me see how people can be reached through sports in enlightening and forward-thinking ways. Occasionally I can see how change can be garnered through a few brave and dedicated heroes of the sports arena, and how, just like any form of entertainment, it can be used for good or bad purposes. I just wish that a sports story would come along that would make me want to be more involved again, but it would need to be a pretty frickin amazing one to make that happen!
Release Date: 2019
Running Time: 108 mins
A biographical sports comedy/drama based on the 2012 documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting with my Family by director Max Fisher. With a surprisingly fresh dialogue (mainly due to Stephen Merchant's writing and directing) Fighting with My Family delivers an enjoyable, educational and entertaining look into the world of female professional wrestling.
A British amatuer wrestling family have their lives changed forever when they receive a call from an NXT executive requesting that two of their children (Zak and Saraya 'Paige' Bevis) try out for a spot in the WWE. However, when it is Paige that gets selected to join, Zak struggles to be supportive in the wake of his own lost dream, leaving Paige to face the cutthroat world of professional wrestling on her own.
This is a perfectly cast film, with Nick Frost and Lena Headey providing excellent support to Florence Pugh (Paige) as her enthusiastic wrestling parents, and also delivering some much needed levity and humour to an otherwise pretty predictable script. Vince Vaughn is also terrific as trainer and WWE representative Hutch Morgan and Jack Lowden steals the show with his pouty disposition and scruffy likeability as Paige's put upon brother Zak. Dwayne Johnson is playing himself here and also depicting his old wrestling persona 'The Rock' which is always amusing to me.
The cast really do make this movie, but I cannot deny that it was also really great to watch another female empowerment movie about a strong, determined women taking the lead, breaking stereotypes and kicking some arse along the way.
FINAL SAY: Dick me dead, and bury me pregnant.
3.5 Chilli Peppers