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Running Time:
112 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for language and sexual content

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This delightful comedy manages to blend some quite disparate elements and still be a charming crowd pleaser.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Director and co-writer commentary; 10 deleted/extended scenes; "Who Wants to Cook Aloo Gobi?" hosted by the director and "The Aunties"; "The Making of Bend It Like Beckham" featurette; Music video and outtakes.

Bend it Like Beckham
Parminder K. Nagra gives a fine performance as Jess, the daughter of a traditional Sikh couple transplanted to England with dreams of becoming a professional women's soccer player. She is also a huge fan of British football great David Beckham. An English girl, Jules Paxton (Keira Knightley), sees Jess's remarkable potential and invites her to try out for an amateur girl's team, but her parents don't approve especially since there are not many athletes of Indian descent playing the sport, particularly women. They think she ought to be concentrating on learning to cook the perfect chapatti. When her parents forbid her from playing, she defies their wishes, and does it anyway and soon she has to make a decision whether to pursue her dreams or hang up her cleats. This mix of British and Indian sensibilities is very entertaining, with its very likeable ensemble cast, a great soundtrack, and lots of well-shot soccer action. There isn't a lot of drama when the soccer team takes the field, as it's never very important whether they win or lose, just how well they perform for the scout who may or may not be there watching any of the games. The real conflicts are between Jess and her family, and with her best friend, Jules, since both of them are vying for the attention of their coach, (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), even though the team rules make him strictly off limits. The excellent cast includes Bollywood superstar Anupam Kher in his English language feature debut as Jess's father, Archie Panjabi as Jess's tarty sister, Pinky, who is perfectly willing to follow the family traditions and be a loyal Indian wife, Juliet Stevenson (who was the wicked school marm in "Nicholas Nickleby") is quite funny as Jules's mother Paula, a lady who doesn't understand football, fears her daughter is a lesbian but really tries to be a supportive mom, and Shaheen Khan is terrific as the traditional Indian mother who expects her daughters to follow the same path as she. "Bend It Like Beckham" is a most enjoyable film that will appeal to almost all audiences.

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