->''"Anyone can cook aloo gobi, but who can bend a ball like Beckham?"''
'''''Bend It Like Beckham''''' is a 2002 British film directed by Gurinder Chadha.
Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is the daughter of Punjabi Sikh immigrants living in London. She loves football ([[SeparatedByACommonLanguage as in soccer]]), but her parents feel she should be focusing on more womanly, Indian pursuits. Befriending Juliette "Jules" Paxton (KeiraKnightley), Jess joins a women's team behind their backs, and [[HilarityEnsues hilarity and drama ensue]].
!!This film provides examples of:
* AbusiveParents: Joe's father pushed him way too hard; Jess's parents aren't really "abusive", but they go out of their way to make it clear they don't want her playing. And Jules' mom is so [[AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents amazingly embarrassing]] that it sometimes borders on abuse.
* ArtifactTitle: Sort of; it was supposed to be a pun in the original script, where Jess was a lesbian.
* TheBabyTrap: Implied as an rare positive example: Pink's wedding with her boyfriend was called off because of Jess shaming the family. Cut to a time later in the movie where Pinky overjoyed proclaimed that they now ''had'' to let them marry. Then during the WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue we see an heavily pregnant Pinky.
* BillyElliotPlot: Jules's story is a more straight example as her mother opposes her doing a boyish hobby and doesn't understand why she doesn't want go shopping for girly things to snag herself a man. Jess's story is a little similar but her parents are more about her getting into university than doing girly things.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Despite being the protagonist, Jess comes off as this from time to time.
** Her sister Pinky is worse.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: The Indian parents and elders have no idea what Jules's mum is freaking out about following the wedding reception; they believe the whole kerfuffle is partly a complaint about their noisy celebration and partly confusion over Jules's short hair.
--> "Why did she take Jessminder's shoes?!"
* CompanionCube: Jess talks to the poster of David Beckham in her room.
* DaddysGirl: Jess's dad is ultimately much more understanding of her than her mother, as is Juliet's.
* DaydreamSurprise: The opening sequence has Jess inserted into a professional match and saving the day, which might look like a FlashForward. Then it turns into the commentators interviewing her mother, who launches into a tirade against the notion of her "running around with all these men, showing her bare legs to seventy thousand people."
* DoNotCallMePaul / FirstNameUltimatum: Only Jess's and Jules's mothers call them Jesminder and Juliette respectively. Both find each other's full names as said by their mothers hilarious.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Jess and Pinky are TomboyAndGirlyGirl. As they're both trying in their own ways to get out from under their parents' wing, though, they're more often allies than enemies.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: When Jules' mother accuses Jess and Jules of being lesbian lovers, one of Pinky's wedding guests is clearly visible in the background - he gives the two a once over, and responds with an approving nod and a lecherous smirk.
* GroinAttack: Jess on a male player at the park (lightly, in vengeance for a boob joke).
* HistoricalInJoke: "Losing to the Jerries on penalties comes natural to you English. You're part of a long tradition now."
* JackieRobinsonStory: Jess's father faced discrimination when he tried to play cricket in English clubs, and he doesn't believe that things have changed enough for an Indian girl to be accepted as a professional footballer. While Jess has it considerably better, she does get called a Paki[[note]]roughly equivalent to the n-word, and applied to South Asians in the UK[[/note]] at least once.
* LesbianJock: Jules' mother thinks that her daughter and Jess are this.
-->"All I'm saying is, there is a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one of them without a fella."
* LoveTriangle: Jules adores Joe who only has eyes for Jess.
* MeddlingParents / MyBelovedSmother
* MistakenForGay: Jules's mother is convinced that Jules and Jess are lesbians.
* MrFanservice: Creator/JonathanRhysMeyers as Joe. No wonder all the girls fall over him.
-->'''Tony''': "He's quite ''fit.''"
* NiceHat: Jules's mother wear a ridiculous one the first time she goes to see her play.
* NotThatTheresAnythingWrongWithThat: When Jules is explaining to her mother that she's not a lesbian, she ends it by saying there's nothing wrong with being a lesbian anyways. Her mother, who is in tears and had just thrown a fit over her "discovery", quickly composes herself and adamantly agrees.
-->"I've got nothing against it! I was cheering for Martina Navratilova as much as the next person!"
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Half the young Indian characters.
* ParentalMarriageVeto: Jess's parents' generation are rather torn about exactly how much control they can or should exert over their children. Pinky and her boyfriend are very much in love, but his parents still threaten to pull the plug on the upcoming wedding when they think they see Jess kissing a boy on the street and conclude that Pinky comes from a bad family. Also:
-->'''Teammate:''' So if you can choose, does that mean you can marry a white boy?\\
'''Jess:''' White, no. Black, definitely not. A Muslim, unh-uh.\\
'''Teammate:''' Guess you'll be marrying an Indian, then.\\
* PutMeInCoach: Jess has to sub in after halftime in the final, and still manages to impress the scout enough to be offered ''a full ride scholarship on the spot.''
* SadBollywoodWedding: Invoked by the cameraman at Pinky's wedding, who yells at her for looking so happy. "Eyes down. Look sad. Don't smile. Indian bride never smiles. You'll ruin the bloody video!"
* SettledForGay: Tony tries to get Jess to settle down with him so that he won't have to tell his family he's gay and she can fulfill her parents' expectations and still play football. She doesn't go along, though.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Jess, and Jules for that matter, in Germany.
* TeacherStudentRomance: Or, in this case, coach-player romance.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Jess and Jules have to play together during their fight.
* TriangRelations: Jules has a crush on Joe, but tells Jess she doesn't; then she feels betrayed when Jess and Joe sort-of-kind-of start a relationship. (To complicate things further, Joe isn't supposed to be dating either of them, as their coach, and Jess knows her parents wouldn't approve of her dating without their knowlege, especially a non-Indian guy. Oh, and Jules's mother mis-overhears Jules and Jess fighting about it and [[MistakenForGay believes they've had a bad breakup]].)
* WhyCouldntYouBeDifferent: The theme of children defying their parents' expectations, and particularly the traditionalism of Indian immigrant parents versus their more assimilated kids, comes up again and again (with varying results).
** The main plot, obviously: Jess wants to play football, but Indian girls don't do that.
** Pinky is more feminine and eager to get married, but wears tight clothes, makeup and blue contacts that her mother doesn't approve of, and has to sneak around to have premarital sex with her boyfriend.
** Tony is gay. Even Jess, when he tells her, says, "But you're Indian!" -- and then, "What's your mum going to say?" By the end of the movie, he still hasn't told anybody but her.
** Jules's mother can't for the life of her understand why her daughter likes football so much and isn't interested in things like buying padded bras so as to snare a man. (Her father, by contrast, is supportive.)
** Joe's father was so determined for him to improve his game that he caused him a career-ending injury. Joe also says he'd "piss himself" if he knew Joe was now coaching a women's team.
** The idea of Jess dating or marrying her Irish coach is [[MalignedMixedMarriage objectionable to her parents]] and even Pinky. Even at the end, she tells him they have to at least hold off on a relationship, because her parents have adjusted to enough changes in a short time span.[[note]]Last we see Joe, he is playing cricket with Jess' dad and Teetu, Pinky's husband, and all are having a good time so he is working on them being more receptive to his and Jess being together.[[/note]]