Bend It Like Beckham

Bend It Like Beckham (2002) movie poster

(2002) dir. Gurinder Chadha
viewed: 10/11/03

Question: What kind of a humorless sourpuss wouldn’t enjoy this upbeat, English, “grrrl power” film about a young Sikh girl’s dream of playing professional football (soccer, for you Americans who don’t know better)?

Answer: Me.

While it’s positive, upbeat, and cheerful, the film is also amazingly naff. At many points it is as badly acted and written as a poor Australian soap opera. It’s obvious, beyond recognition…meaning that I felt like I had ESP, as I could see plot twists rounding corners long before they left the door. Lots of plot points evolve from simple misunderstandings, which are about as grounded in reality as most of the plot scenarios in television’s Three’s Company

Also, I have some doubts about these self-perpetuated (self-conceived) cultural stereotypes (akin to the ones in Joel Zwick’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)), in which immigrant cultures are quite literally stereotyped in supposed positive, though self-deprecating ways. This is not a politically correct comment that I am trying to make here, but rather just saying that there is something that makes me feel squeamish about these portrayals, though they are not inherently “objectionable”. It’s just a pet peeve, I guess.

See, I told you that I was humorless.

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