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Movie Review: Bend it Like Beckham

Story: Who's Beckham you say? David Beckham (who's married to Posh Spice) is a present day national treasure to England's soccer mad country. He is also the focus of adulation for our protagonist, Jesminder Bharma, who is the daughter of strict Sikh parents. Can you feel the culture clash and ensuing conflict coming your way? How does a rebellious, beautiful HS Senior allow her gifted soccer talents to flourish when her parents want her to just learn how to cook and get married? Well, that is the gist of the story.

Joyfully co-written and directed by Gurinder Chadha (What's Cooking?) you could feel that the cast had one fine time making this film. This film was a big hit in Europe and was singled out for many of their highest film awards. Yes, you have heard this tale before, most recently in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This film is equally as funny. It is not heavily into being a message movie but still rings true, albeit light hearted. If there is a message that one garners, it is a positive one. Go and enjoy yourself. I am sure we could all use a laugh or two these days.

Acting: Parminder K. Nagra is both talented and beautiful as Jesminder. Keira Knightley, as her soccer pal is also highly watch-able. Irish actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Velvet Goldmine, Ride With the Devil) is growing up nicely. I look forward to seeing him in more films soon. The entire supporting cast was terrific and while stereotypical no one was offensive in their portrayals.

Predilection: I like 'all things Indian.'

Critters: A few dogs in the far distance.

Food: Food was everywhere. There were kitchen scenes during the preparation of some fabulous looking dishes but alas, I never saw anyone actually eat anything.

Visual Art: Indian prints and lots of soccer posters and photos of David Beckham.

Blatant Product Placement: Reebok, Addidas, Snickers and Carlsberg Beer.

Soundtrack: Wonderfully toe-tapping and occasionally very funny. Stay through the credits -- you will get some additional laughs.

Opening Titles: Quick setup to place right into the action.

Theater Audience: I am always surprised when it is crowded for an early showing on a midweek day. By two movie buddies chuckled along with me.

Sappy Factor: 3

Predictability Level: Soaring

Tissue Usage: None for me but one of my buddies was tissue touched.

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: The editor must have fallen asleep on the job. This should have been a 90 minute film.

Big Screen or Rental: Have a few laughs and see it on the big screen. If you liked My Big Fat Greek Weddin' and East is East you will like this.

Length: A little under two hours still seemed long.