FOUR Weddings had posh people being awkward, The Full Monty had Northern lads getting their tackle out and Billy Elliot danced its way into our hearts.
The Great British Feel-Good Movie is a holy grail — guaranteed a place in our hearts for ever.
The ingredients are pretty simple: An impossible journey, likeable cast, plenty of jokes and the occasional tear trickling down the cheek, leading to a chest-thumping, triumphant finale.
Most importantly, it has to be quintessentially British.
We have to be able to relate to it. The accents must be heard in Wetherspoon pubs, the clothes available in Primark.
They may not be the prettiest of films — apart from the rose-tinted visions of Richard Curtis — but they are OURS.
That recipe is easy enough to write down but far more often than not, it proves elusive.
Stephen Merchant has developed an idea that first formed in the mind of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the wrestling superstar turned Hollywood big-hitter, after Dwayne caught a Channel 4 documentary while over in London.
And thank goodness Naked Attraction wasn’t on, for they have given us the feel-good hit of the year.
This tells the true story of British wrestler Saraya-Jade Bevis (Florence Pugh), who went from fighting in Norwich community centres to winning the WWE Divas title under the ring-name of Paige.
It is a hilarious, touching tale of ambition, family and Spandex. And while wrestling is at the forefront, this is also a story of jealousy, family and community. We meet the Knight clan as they struggle to fill tiny venues with their rough-housing. Wrestling in Norwich is a far cry from the billion-dollar WWE.
Convinced of Paige’s talent, her parents (Nick Frost and Lena Headey) hassle WWE trainer Hutch Morgan (Vince Vaughn) to give her a try out alongside her brother Zak (Jack Lowden).
But only Paige is selected and sent to America for training — all but ripping the family apart in the process. This avoids being saccharine and is very funny indeed.
Erections are called stiffies, kids call their parents d***heads (kids, don’t try that at home) and there are some cracking gags.
“Why do you call him ‘Sextape’?” “Because he makes people famous!” comes the response. Pugh is surely on the path to superstardom and the supporting cast — especially Headey, Frost and Lowden as the other Knights — are on fine form, like a foul-mouthed Royle Family.
Johnson lends Hollywood glamour at the same time as gently mocking his ring persona, while Vaughn is in Dodgeball mode rather than True Detective (thankfully).
Merchant and Nighty Night’s Julia Davis, meanwhile, are hilarious as a pair of uptight parents.
What I took away was its refreshing take on ambition. I wish more films would say: “Actually, you know what? Not everyone is going to succeed. Sometimes you are not going to be good enough and you just have to suck it up.”
Not every child can grow up to be rich, famous or successful.
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And there is nothing wrong with that.
All in all, this is absolutely worth a family trip to the cinema.
A British feel-good comedy that is both funny and feels good.