->''"Anyone can cook aloo gobi, but who can bend a ball like Beckham?"''

''Bend It Like Beckham'' is a 2002 British comedy film directed by Gurinder Chadha.

Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is the daughter of Punjabi Sikh immigrants living in UsefulNotes/{{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 (Creator/KeiraKnightley), Jess joins a women's team behind their backs, and [[HilarityEnsues hilarity and drama ensue]].

In 2015 a musical theater production of the movie was released in London.
!!''Bend It Like Beckham'' provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Joe's father pushed him way too hard; Jules' mom isn't abusive, but she's so [[AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents amazingly embarrassing]] that it sometimes borders on abuse.
* AlmostKiss: Jess and Joe in Germany. [[LoveTriangle Jules doesn't take kindly]].
* ArtifactTitle: Sort of; it was supposed to be a pun in the original script, where Jess was a lesbian.
* TheBabyTrap: Implied as a 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 a heavily pregnant Pinky.
* TheBeard: [[spoiler: Jess' best friend Tony, who is in the closet, offers to marry her so she could keep playing soccer and he wouldn't have to come out.]]
* BigGame: Soccer, especially for Jules. Since it's half-British, this is a must.
* 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 to 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.
* BoyishShortHair: Jules' is very much a tomboy, and her short bob haircut actually becomes a plot point when Teetu's parents see her and Jess together on the street, mistake her for a boy, and [[ParentalMarriageVeto call off Teetu's marriage to Pinky]].
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Despite being the protagonist, Jess comes off as this from time to time. Her sister Pinky is worse.
* BrickJoke: Jules gives Jess her mother's shoes to wear for the wedding, so that she can spend the money she was given for that on soccer cleats. At the wedding, Jules's mother demands the shoes back on seeing them.
* CareerEndingInjury: Joe's {{backstory}} is that he injured his knee [[WellDoneSonGuy trying to impress his dad]], then tried to play injured and permanently damaged it.
* 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 Jesminder'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 Jules'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."
* DeliberateValuesDissonance:
** Jess gets in trouble when her family thinks she was "kissing a white boy". She then explains she was with Jules, who is a ''girl''. They are fine with this after the misunderstanding is cleared up and Pinky gets her wedding back on track, though Jules's mother isn't.
** Jess explains what a love match is to one of her teammates: it's not an ArrangedMarriage, but it has to be between two Indians. White people are out, as are black people, and a Muslim is a ''definite'' no no.
*** One wonders whether an ''American'' Indian would be acceptable...
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Jess gets an athletic scholarship to a US college and eventually gets her family's blessing (with her dad's help) to go without having to marry Tony. Joe and she will tackle the problem of her parents when she gets back, and in the meantime Joe is learning cricket from her dad.
* 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. While Pinky doesn't understand why Jess wants to play football, she doesn't oppose her doing it, just suggesting that trying things her way may be better.
* 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). She jams the football into his junk and runs off, leaving him and the other guys wincing.
* HeIsNotMyBoyfriend: Jules mistakes Tony for Jess's boyfriend and they say this almost word for word. [[spoiler: He's not her boyfriend indeed since he's in the closet]].
* HistoricalInJoke: "Losing to the Jerries on penalties comes natural to you English. You're part of a long tradition now."
* InnocentBigot: Mrs. Paxton when talking to Jess spouted off nearly every Indian stereotype in the book.
* ItRunsInTheFamily: Jess's dad was also an athlete, although he was a cricket player, not a soccer player.
* IWantGrandkids : Jules's mother's delight on learning that one of the England women's national football team is a married mother suggests that her desperation for Jules to look for a man, and her hostility to the thought of Jules being a lesbian, could be this trope.
* 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.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: Jess and Tony are a platonic example. Pretty downplayed in the beginning of the movie, but becomes more distinct later on [[spoiler: when Tony comes out of the closet to Jess]].
* MeddlingParents
* MistakenForGay: Jules's mother is convinced that Jules and Jess are lesbians. [[spoiler:After Jules figures this out, she explains about the LoveTriangle with Joe, while calling Mom out for being a homophobe.]]
* MrFanservice: Creator/JonathanRhysMeyers as Joe. No wonder all the girls fall over him. EvenTheGuysWantHim:
-->'''Tony''': He's quite ''fit.''[[note]]Though Tony is a closeted gay man.[[/note]]
* NiceHat: Jules's mother wears a ridiculous one the first time she goes to see her play. Her dad comments that they'll be lucky if she can even fit into the car.
* NoNameGiven: Jess's parents' given names aren't said at any time. Even in the end credits, they're just Mr. and Mrs. Bhamra. (Though her father's name, Mohan Singh Bhamra, is briefly said when he is on the phone rebooking the wedding; her mother's first name is heard in a deleted scene at the wedding.)
* 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 rather unconvincingly 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 (Jess, Pinky, Bubbly, Taz...) "Jess" is explained fairly early as a nickname for "Jesminder", "but only my mom calls me that." Jules, meanwhile, is short for "Juliette".
* 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 white boy on the street[[note]]What they ''actually'' saw was Jess and Jules leaning on each other because they were laughing so hard at Jules' mom.[[/note]] 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.\\
'''Jess:''' Probably.
* ParentsAsPeople: Jess' parents are clearly loving and supportive, but the cultural class between them and their daughters drives much of the plot.
* 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. Jess also looks gorgeous in the sari she has to wear for her sister's wedding.
* ShoppingMontage: Complete with a Spice Girls alum soundtrack.
* ShoutOut: Said Spice Girl, who has two songs in the film's soundtrack, got herself a pretty funny shoutout.
-->'''Paula:''' All I'm saying is, there's a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one without a fella!
** This joke gets extra points when Posh Spice makes a cameo in the end of the film with ''her'' fella- the titular David Beckham. Maybe Paula [[TheCuckoolanderWasRight had a point...]] At the time though, Sporty Spice actually ''did'' have a boyfriend.
* TeacherStudentRomance: Or, in this case, coach-player romance.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Jess and Jules have to play together during their fight.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Jess and her sister Pinky, Jules and her mother.
* 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 (although in real life several women footballers have married their coaches), and Jess knows her parents wouldn't approve of her dating without their knowledge, 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]].
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: A short montage of Jess' mom and a very pregnant Pinky getting gifts from Jess, then the Paxtons with Santa Clara University shirts from Jules, then Jess' dad and Joe playing cricket outside the Bhamra house before the FadeToBlack.
* 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. In this case, Jess' father is much more understanding on the matter. For instance, when he sees Jess perfectly miserable attending her sister's wedding when the big game is about to begin, he gives her permission to go.
** 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 CareerEndingInjury. Joe also says he'd "piss himself" if he knew Joe was now coaching a women's team. [[spoiler:Turns out in the end he was wrong: when the league turns the Hounslow Harriers women into a pro team, he tells his dad and Dad's apparently proud of him.]]
** 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]]
%%* YouGoGirl:
* YourTraditionIsNotMine: Jess and Jules, and to a lesser extent Pinky with their Mothers.