Bend It Like Beckham
-Stars Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
-Directed by Gurinder Chadha
-The title comes from soccer star David Beckham's ability to score a free kick by bending the ball past the goalie
Did You Know?
-The Hounslow Harriers is a fictional team, but the players are all professional soccer players
-Many of the wedding guests treated the filming as if it were a real wedding
-The number Jess wears is #7, the number David Beckham wore for Manchester United and wears for England
-Jessminder "Jess" Bhamra(Parminder Nagra) is the 18 year old daughter of a man named Punjabi Sikhs, who all live together in Hounslow, West London. Juliette "Jules" Paxton(Keira Knightley) is the daughter of an English couple. Jess is completely fascinated by football(or soccer to Westerners), but because she is female, her parents forbid her to play. But, she does play in the park with various boys and her good friend Tony, a guy who is a closet homosexual. When Jules finds out how good Jess is, she invites Jess to try out for the local team, the Hounslow Harriers, coached by Joe(Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), who just so happens to be Irish. He is initially skeptical of Jess' talents, but is convinced she has talent after seeing her play, so she gets on the team. Jess lies to Joe about her parents being okay with the idea. She becomes friends quickly with Jules and Marlena "Mel" Goines(Shaznay Lewis)
-Jess immediately becomes attracted to Joe, a gora(white Westerner). When the team goes to Hamburg, her and Joe's relationship starts blooming. At the end of the night, the two are about to kiss when Jules interrupts, souring the moment. This also sours Jess' and Jules' relationship. When Jess tries to fix it by going to Jules' house, Mrs. Paxton is misled and thinks Jules is in a lesbian relationship with Jules.
-Jess' parents learn she has been playing soccer and become more strict, ensurig she doesn't attend games. Elsewhere, the elder Bhamras are distracted by the upcoming wedding of their eldest daughter Pinky(Archie Panjabi). Thanks to Jess, the Harriers are going to the finals. An American recruiting scout will be attending the finals. Unfortunately, the final is on the day of Pinky's wedding. Joe pleads with Jess' dad to let her play, but he strictly refuses. He reveals he does not want Jess to suffer as he did when he was kicked out of a cricket league when he was younger because of his race. Joe accepts that Jess will not play and the finals begin with out her. Halfway through Pinky's wedding, Tony convinces Mr. Bhamra(Anupan Kher) to let Jess play. Tony drives Jess to the final, where the Harriers are 1-0, with a half hour left
-Jess and Jules tie the score, and when Jess is given a free kick, she must bend the ball around the players to win. She succeeds, and Hounslow wins the tournament. Jess and Jules are offered scholarships to Santa Clara University in California. Jules tells her parents immediately, but Jess, on the otherhand, has trouble telling hers. Jules and Mrs. Paxton come to the wedding for Jules to celebrate the offer with Jess. Mistaking the girls to be lesbians, Mrs. Paxton accuses Jess of being a hypocrite and calls her a lesbian. Embarrassed by the scene her mother made, Jules grabs her and runs
-Jess has refused to tell her parents about the scholarship offer. Tony claims that he and Jess want to get engaged, on the condition she go to any college she wants prior to their marriage. Jess tells the lie, stating that she needs to base her future on honesty, and that accepting the scholarship would be her heart's desire. Mr. Bhamra talks Mrs. Bhamra into letting Jess play, saying he doesn't want Jess to give up her dreams as he did. She flees to the football field to tell Joe of her parent's decision. The two almost kiss, but Jess pulls away, saying her parents wouldn't be happy. She says they allow her to play soccer, but that they may not stand for her breaking another cultural rule
-On the day when Jess and Jules leave for America, the two families say their separate goodbyes to them. As they are leaving, Joe arrives and confesses his love for Jess. They kiss. Jess agrees to sort out their relationship when she returns home for Christmas. Later on, Pinky, now pregnant, sets a photo on the mantel in her parent's home, showing the Santa Clara team. As the movie ends, Mr. Bhamra and Joe play cricket in the park