Monday, July 20, 2009

Bend It Like Beckham - May 2003


First, the title. “Bend it” is a soccer term where a player kicks a ball and can seemingly bend its trajectory around defenders and goal posts. David Beckham is best known in the US, if at all, for being married to some has-been singer named Posh Spice. But in England, he is the equivalent of Michael Jordan. So, one who can 'bend it like Beckham' plays soccer better than most.

Now that you know all about the title, go see the movie. "Bend It Like Beckham" follows the familiar formula of a teenager following her talent and passion against forbidding parents of another culture. As with all movies of this genre, it’s all about the execution, and this movie executes very well. I wish I knew more synonyms for “charming” and “fun.” I could use them all to describe this movie.

Two words of warning: "Bend It Like Beckham" was made in England. While the English claim to speak the same language we do, the characters' accents are very thick and can be difficult to understand. Also, no matter how many times you hear them say it, referring to soccer as “football” is just odd.

[2009: What - I didn't extoll the virtues of Keira Knightley in her first big role? The one time I knew before anyone else that someone was going to be a big star and I didn't say anything about it in my review?

"Bend It Like Beckham" is still a wonderful movie - I watch it a couple of times a year. Between the classic girl-power story, the colors, the music and Keira Knightley with short hair, it's pretty much a perfect movie.

I caught it at a limited release showing on a Sunday in April, 2003, then watched it again the following Saturday. After some good word-of-mouth (You're welcome), it was released wide in August, 2003, where I saw it again a couple more times. OK, the wide release may have been prompted by Keira Knightley's "Pirates of the Caribbean - Curse of the Black Pearl" having been released - and becoming a monster smash - in July, but maybe I had something to do with it.]

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