BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM is a lively British comedy about a high school graduate who wants to get a women’s soccer scholarship in America, against the wishes of her traditional Sikh family from Pakistan. Unlike her elder sister Pinky, who’s getting married, Jessminda (Jess for short) dreams of playing soccer professionally like her hero, David Beckham. Knowing this is against her parents’ wishes, Jess sneaks behind their back to play soccer with a club team for young women, coached by Joe, a young Irish soccer player sidelined by a career-ending injury. Complicating matters is the fact that Jess and Joe are slowly falling in love. This irritates Jess’s new friend Juliet, another player on the team who also has a crush on Joe and whose mother mistakenly thinks is having a secret lesbian affair with Jess.
A well-written script and a fine cast keep this tumultuous comedy on track. The movie, however, is overloaded with cultural conflicts, some of which are superfluous to the main story.
Furthermore, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM ultimately is a politically correct comedy with a humanist spin. Although women’s sports can be an important part of a girl’s private and professional life, the movie has a feminist subtext that pushes the false notion that most female athletes can compete equally with men. This feminist notion may be true in theory, but only if you want a unisex world where there is little physical difference between men and women.
More offensive than this, perhaps, is the movie’s pro-homosexual theme. Juliet’s mother, who thinks most women athletes are lesbians and that Jess and Juliet are having an affair, is made to look ridiculous and silly. Furthermore, Jess has another close friend, a Sikh male named Tony, who confides his homosexuality to Jess. When this friend tries to help Jess get out of one scrape with her parents by asking her to marry him, she tells him don’t be silly, it’s okay to be who he is, a homosexual.
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM ends on a politically correct, multicultural note, with the hope that Jess’s parents will eventually accept not only her athleticism, but also her love for a white boy, Joe. This in turn gives some hope that Juliet’s mother and the older Sikh community will also overcome their politically incorrect views about homosexuality.
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(HH, Pa, PCPC, HoHo, FeFe, B, Ab, FRFR, LLL, V, S, N, AA, D, M) Humanist worldview that makes fun of Sikh family's pagan religion and traditions, plus politically correct humor done in a pro-homosexual, feminist, multicultural way appealing to liberals and atheists with some appeals to God and some mocking of religion as well as praying to guru and reference to reincarnation; 17 obscenities, two strong profanities, seven light profanities; some light soccer violence, including pushing, shoving and tripping; engaged couple interrupted while making out in car, sexy dancing during Sikh wedding ceremony, and kisses and hugs mistaken for lesbian attractions; young women in underwear and upper male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking; and, lying.