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movies that make me feel good, vol. 1: “bend it like beckham.”

August 3, 2015

I’m going to be doing a series on movies that make me feel good, no matter how many times I’ve watched them. I’ll write a little bit about each movie, explain why each movie received whatever rating it did, and provide a trailer. I suppose I should also write at least a sentence or two about why I like the movie.

IMost of these films are not gigantic blockbusters with tons of special effects, but a few are. Some you’ve likely seen. Some you’ve heard of, and some you haven’t, I’m guessing.

Alright then, I’ll start with a British film I re-watched last night: “Bend it Like Beckham.”

As you probably already know, Beckham is David Beckham, the brilliant all-star soccer player, who is known for kicking the ball in such a way that it curves, or “bends.”

I’m not going to write much about the plot, since you can watch the trailer. I’ll just say it is about two girls who are very talented at playing soccer. Soccer is quite logically called “football” in every country besides the USA. The film takes place in suburban London, during the summer after the girls have graduated high school.

One of the girls, Jules, is played by Keira Knightley. She is dealing with some pressure from her overly concerned mother to be more feminine. She also has conflicting feelings for her coach, played by John Rhys Meyers, who always looks horribly angry and like he wants to kill somebody, no matter what role he plays. He does not kill anybody in this movie.

The other girl, Jess, is played by Parminder Nagra. Jess is a Sikh, and her parents are from India. She is forbidden to play soccer for cultural reasons, but does so anyway.

The movie, although mostly about straight characters, does have a bit of a pro-gay message. This doesn’t bother me. The film was released in 2002, long before it became practically mandatory that every other film or TV show have a pro-gay message. Any message, regardless of the message, gets quite monotonous after awhile if constantly repeated, but this was not a problem in 2002. Also, part of the humor comes from confusion over sexual identity.. some very awkward and funny moments.

The film is rated PG-13 for language, partial nudity (half dressed girls in a locker room), and some sexual dialog and humor.

This movie features breakout roles for Knightley (who is pretty much my favorite actress and has been in a great many films), Nagra (who went on to star in “ER” for many years), and Meyers, who has been in some movies and TV shows since his performance in this film.

Why I love this movie: The acting is excellent. I like learning about other cultures. Keira is cute and Parminder is gorgeous. Seeing how women interact with each other and what they talk about. (The movie was written and directed by a woman, Gurinder Chadha.. I figure she got the female interaction right). The story is rather uplifting. The movie is quite funny at times. The soundtrack is mostly quite good.. some teen brit-pop (which I’m not crazy about, but it fits in the film), some classic tunes, and some Bhangra music from India. A great script.. many reasons to like this film.

Right then.. Roll the trailer!

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