Bend It Like Beckham

Bend It Like Beckham ★★★

Bend It Like Beckham is one of those popular Brit films that's very likeable but also cosily predictable. It's basically a fairly lightweight culture clash comedy drama about a young British Indian woman (played by Parminder Nagra) who who has a real passion and talent for football - but faces the disapproval of her doggedly traditional parents. She befriends Keira Knightley, who induces her into the woman's football team whom she plays for.

The dramatic complications are mostly unsurprising and some of the attitudes feel rather "two decades ago". Nonetheless, the atmosphere is charming and the cast mostly appealing. Okay, so Jonathan Rhys Meyers is less than stellar, but Nagra and Knightley are both great and have a real rapport together as onscreen best buddies. The best laughs, however, come from Juliet Stevenson, playing Knightley's frankly clueless onscreen mother.

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