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"BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM"
(2002) (Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Moderate Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: An Indian girl must choose between following her family's conservative rules and traditions or pursuing her goal of playing soccer in London and then America.
PLOT:
Jess Bhamra (PARMINDER NAGRA) is an Indian girl living in London with her parents (ANUPAM KHER & SHAHEEN KHAN) and older sister, Pinky (ARCHIE PANJABI), who adores and idolizes soccer legend David Beckham and wishes she could play. Yet, her conservative parents don't think it's right for her and want her to adhere to their traditions and find a man to marry, much like Pinky will be doing in a few weeks.

Jess gets the chance to fulfill her dream when Brit Jules Paxton (KEIRA KNIGHTLEY) spots her playing in the park with her friends, including Tony (AMEET CHANA). Jules plays for a local all-girls team and convinces her dreamy coach, Joe (JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS), to allow Jess to try out. Jules wants to play professionally in America, but while her dad (FRANK HARPER) is supportive, her mother (JULIET STEVENSON) isn't, as she fears that her daughter is not feminine enough.

As the girls become fast friends, they must contend with both falling for Joe as well as dealing with their parents' reactions to them playing soccer. With Jess' actions putting a strain on her relationship with her family as they prepare for Pinky's wedding, she must decide whether to abide by their rules and traditions and give up her dream, or throw all caution to the wind and keep pursuing it.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into football (soccer), are teen girls, or are fans of someone in the cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • PARMINDER NAGRA plays a young Indian woman living in England who wants to play football (soccer) but finds herself at odds with her conservative and traditional family. Accordingly, she makes up various lies to keep playing and practicing, drinks some (and appears intoxicated) and uses some profanity.
  • KEIRA KNIGHTLEY plays her friend and teammate who becomes jealous and mad about Jess and their coach appearing to have romantic feelings for each other. She uses some profanity and must deal with her mother not wanting her to play.
  • JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS plays their coach who wants the best for them and starts to fall for Jess.
  • ANUPAM KHER plays Jess' conservative father who doesn't want her to play football due to the way he was treated years ago for being Indian. He drinks some.
  • SHAHEEN KHAN plays his wife who believes that Jess is misbehaving and dishonoring their family.
  • ARCHIE PANJABI plays Jess' spoiled sister who acts as if she's traditional like their parents, but actually has a wild side to her.
  • AMEET CHANA plays Jess' good friend who's gay and encourages her to pursue her dreams.
  • JULIET STEVENSON plays Jules' mom who frets over what she sees as her daughter's lack of femininity, hates see her playing football and wonders if Jules is a lesbian.
  • FRANK HARPER plays Jules' far more supportive father.
  • SHAZNAY LEWIS plays the captain of Jess and Jules' football team.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 4 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some sexually related dialogue is present (including using the term "shag"), while a car is briefly seen rocking from sexual activity inside it. Some making out is present, as are various shots of young women in their undergarments and sports bras.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while tense family material involves parents and their kids not seeing eye to eye about the latter's involvement in playing soccer and not following family tradition and/or being feminine enough. Some characters smoke, while others drink (and one young woman appears a bit intoxicated).

    Some imitative behavior is present, while some characters briefly push and/or struggle with others. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some people drink at a party.
  • Joe states he has to go and open his bar.
  • Jess' father has a drink.
  • Jules may have a beer in a bar (couldn't identify the bottle).
  • Some people drink in a club, including Jess who appears a bit intoxicated (she stumbles outside).
  • Jules' parents have wine.
  • Jess' father has a drink.
  • Jess' father has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • One of the players has some blood on her leg during a game.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some of Jess' male acquaintances occasionally make fun of her.
  • Jules' mom repeatedly rags on her about not being feminine enough.
  • Jess isn't happy that her parents don't want her to play soccer (and later forbid it) and she then repeatedly lies to them to keep playing (saying she has a summer job, having her sister cover for her, acting like she's sick, etc.).
  • A person uses the term "dykey" in a derogatory fashion.
  • Jules gets a progressively worse attitude toward Jess after becoming jealous of her and Joe.
  • Some guy says "Check out the boobs" on one of the players and jokes that she could knock herself out with them when running up and down the field.
  • Another player uses a derogatory term toward Jess on the field (referring to her being Indian).
  • Jules' mother makes a scene and interrupts the ending of a wedding.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*t for brains," "I'm really in the sh*t," "First class bitch," "What the hell /is going on/is wrong with you?" "Stupid cow," "Shut up," "Idiot," "Piss around," "Balls" (testicles), "You're so full of it," "Bloody" (adjective), "Back off, you wanker," "Bollocks," "Blimey," "Screwed" (nonsexual), "Bastard," "Dykey," "You're such a wuss," "You bitch," "Bloke," "Piss them off," "Piss himself," "Jeez" and "What the bloody hell were you thinking?"
  • In addition, certain slang terms were apparently present that we did not understand.
  • A guy has some tattoos while Mel (the team captain) also has a tattoo.
  • Some women wear midriff-revealing tops.
  • Jules makes the male masturbation gesture with her hand.
  • Jules has a pierced navel, while another player has a pierced nostril.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 "s" words, 3 slang terms for sex ("shag"), 1 slang term for breasts ("boobs"), 5 hells, 2 bollocks, 1 ass, 1 wanker, 4 uses of "God," 2 each of "Jesus," "Oh God" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "My God" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • In addition, certain slang terms were apparently present that we did not understand and several words are bleeped out during the end credits.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • One of Pinky's friends shows a lot of cleavage in several scenes.
  • Jules' mom shows her a pump action bra (to make one's bust look bigger) and we see a photograph of a woman in a bra and panties in the store (as well as bras and panties on partial mannequins). Jules' mom then talks about Jules' chest still growing and then pushes up her daughter's clothed breasts.
  • We see Jules in a sports bra and later see other women wearing the same.
  • Some guys want a young woman to chest a soccer ball and then run their hands down their own bare chests.
  • A woman talks about a man with a big engine (possibly sexual innuendo).
  • Jules says, "Kevin can shag whoever he bloody wants."
  • We see a young woman in her panties and Mel in her bra.
  • Jess complains about her parents' treatment of her and says, "It's not like I've been sleeping around with anyone."
  • We see a car rocking back and forth at an airport and hear some heavy breathing (from Pinky and her boyfriend fooling around inside it - which we briefly see, but no nudity).
  • There's some slight sexual talk about sleeping around with boys one doesn't plan on marrying, and one woman says that's the best bit and another replies, "You should know."
  • A woman's breasts are referred to as mosquito bites and that a dress will make them look like some sort of juicy fruit (what a dressmaker says about Jess).
  • Jules' mother shows cleavage in various scenes.
  • A comment is made that a person was caught "shagging" one of his players.
  • Jules wears a somewhat revealing top (bare back and sides).
  • Jules' mother mistakenly believes that Jules and Jess are lesbian lovers.
  • Some guy says "Check out the boobs" on one of the players and jokes that she could knock herself out with them when running up and down the field.
  • We see one of the girls in her bra.
  • We see a couple making out in the bathroom up against the wall.
  • Joe and Jess kiss.
  • SMOKING
  • Jules' father smokes, as do several miscellaneous characters. In addition, Jess' parents think she's been smoking from the smell when she returns home (but she was in a bar where others were smoking).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jess isn't happy that her parents don't want her to play soccer (and later forbid it) and she then lies to them to keep doing that. They become increasingly disappointed in her.
  • Jules isn't happy with her mom ragging on her about being athletic and not feminine enough.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Pursuing one's goals vs. pleasing one's parents and/or conforming to their ideals and customs.
  • Jess is self-conscious about her scarred leg (from a previous accident).
  • White lies.
  • Jess' friend Tony turns out to be gay (he admits it to her).
  • Women/girls being feminine and still playing sports.
  • Being a minority.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A young woman picks up a soccer ball and slaps it into a guy's clothed crotch after he and others were teasing her.
  • Angry at how another player treated her, Jess pushes that girl several times during a game.
  • There's some brief struggling at a wedding over a video camera.



  • Reviewed February 3, 2002 / Posted March 28, 2003

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