I was only a tiny 6-year-old when Bend It Like Beckham was released, but I still remember it being THE film to watch. It was an instant classic, not only with my Indian family but with audiences everywhere. Funnily enough, the movie even followed me to high school where I had to study it one year for English.
But it’s been ages since I’ve seen Bend It Like Beckham, so I thought I would rewatch it as an adult to see if it’s as good as I remember it. Here’s how it went down.
1. Of course we open with some random football commentary.
2. Did someone say David Beckham? My body is ready.
3. Oh look, there he is! But wait, he’s BALD?! Noooooooo.
4. Jess is here too? Wait, I remember now. This is a ~dream sequence~.
5. OMG Mrs Bhamra!!!!
6. Wow, even after all these years she still sounds EXACTLY like my mum.
7. “She shouldn’t be showing her bare legs to people”, “she’s bringing shame on the family” – just Desi kid things, am I right?
8. That raised hand still strikes fear into my heart and I’m technically an adult now. At least she isn’t holding a rolling pin.
9. Oh, this is cool. I can understand the Punjabi that Mrs Bhamra is speaking. See Mum, I was paying attention in Hindi school.
10. “Your sister is getting engaged and you’re here watching this skinhead boy.” Lmao, what a burn.
11. UH wait, my sister is getting married too. I couldn’t have done this rewatch at a more relatable time. *High fives self.*
12. “I’m sick of this wedding and it hasn’t even started.” Big mood, I think my sister just said this the other day.
13. This slow pan in to Beckham’s face is…slightly creepy.
14. Did Pinky really just say bitch in front of her mum? That would have earned me a slap tbh.
15. It’s good to see that I’m not the only that hates achaar (pickled vegetables).
16. This is some grooooooovy Bollywood music playing in the background.
17. Who are these girls? Surely they’re not Pinky’s friends because that girl just fake laughed really badly.
18. Oh, they’re ~frenemies~.
19. INNIT! LATERS! Lmao, is this how British people actually talk?
20. I love how the first time we’re introduced to Jules, it’s in a lingerie store with her mum pumping a bra insert.
21. Side note, when’s the last time I saw Keira Knightley in a movie?
22. Holy shit, it’s Tony. I completely forgot about him until now.
23. Helloooooo shirtless guys playing football in the park.
24. How does Jules look so effortless while running? I’m always red and sweaty.
25. Haha, I love how Jess just trumps the boys so easily. TAKE THAT.
26. And now we’re back to another slow pan of the Beckham poster. Is that going to be a thing?
27. “Why don’t you put a nice picture of beautiful sceneries instead of this bald man?” Okay, Indian parents sure know how to roast people.
28. And they know how to put on a SPREAD. Look at that dessert platter.
29. Jess serving all the food reminds me so much of my childhood.
30. Who am I kidding? I still live with my parents and also have to serve when guests are over.
31. Is that…is that a Nokia 3310? And a FLIP phone? A WRIST STRAP TOO?!
32. Jeez, this movie really is old.
33. I feel triggered by that auntie stuffing her son’s face with ladoo.
34. Seeing these three watching the boys reminds me exactly of this excellent meme.
35. The thought of going up to random strangers and talking to them makes me sweat, but Jules makes it look so casual.
36. And the look she gives Jess when the boys are slagging them off is so damn relatable. Boys can be such dicks.
37. OMG this Basement Jaxx song. I’m pretty sure I had to learn a dance routine to it in primary school.
38. Helloooooo Coach Joe. Boy, did I have a huge crush on him when I first watched this.
39. Still do actually.
40. I wish I could play football like this but I suck. Like I get excited when I touch the ball, and it’s a bonus if I hit it in the right direction.
41. “I’ve never seen an Indian girl into football.” That’s because the majority of us were never allowed to consider it a profession. Ugh.
42. I feel the need to point out that Jules is wearing one of those iconic ’00s headbands with the spikes. Do they even exist anymore?
43. Jess lying about her folks being down for things sounds a lot like my teenage years.
44. Annnnd we’re back to the Beckham poster again.
45. “LOOK AT THE STATE OF MY FUSCHIAS!” Iconic, lol.
46. Jules’ mum being more worried about her finding a boy than improving her soccer skills makes me mad.
47. Kudos to Joe for making Jess feel less ashamed of the burn on her leg.
48. And to Tony for standing up against his sexist friends. Maybe not all men are bad…maybe.
49. Ah, the classic lecture from mum. Yes I remember these.
50. “You know people talk.” *Rolls eyes dramatically.*
51. I can’t tell you how much that “haaaaa” from Mrs Bhamra reminded me of my mum.
52. I love how Jess’ dad is trying to be fair and reasonable but her mum is like NOOOOOOOOOO. Once again, I feel very seen.
53. Like I get why Mrs Bhamra has banned her from playing football but it stills feels so unfair.
54. And of course it just drives Jess to go behind their backs. This won’t end up well and I’m speaking from personal experience.
55. Are they watching Zee TV? Because that’s my entire childhood right there.
56. No, no, no, don’t open the box, don’t open the box.
57. And the box has been opened. MAJOR YIKES.
58. All these photos Jules has with her coach feels kind of…weird. Like he seems so much older than them?
59. OH MY GOD. THOSE SHOES. THE BOWS. What a disaster.
60. “Jess? Is that Indian?” *Face palm.*
61. Typical Indian aunties back at it again with all their tea and no receipts.
62. I can’t believe they’re actually calling off the wedding because Jess was supposedly kissing an English boy. That’s wild and not accurate.
63. PINKY WHY WOULD YOU SELL OUT YOUR SISTER LIKE THAT?! That’s going against the sibling code.
64. RIP to the fairy lights. I guess the wedding really is off.
65. Ooooooh I totally forgot that Coach Joe takes a trip to Jess’ house.
66. He’s looking like an absolute snack.
67. I hate that I just typed that but it’s true.
68. Every time the camera focuses on Baba Ji I feel like I need to confess something.
69. Lmao, I think Joe feels the same way. He looks nervous.
70. I hate how Mr B was made fun of and not accepted into clubhouse because of his turban. Racism is so ugly and gross.
71. Okay, Pinky does redeem herself by covering for Jess but what I really want to know is how Jess paid for a ticket to Germany. That shit is expensive.
72. Jess should know that rule one of any trip is to bring clubbing clothes because you just never know.
73. DAMN JESSMINDER! Leather has never looked so good.
74. Haha, all of the outfits in this club are so ’00s. The cringe is real.
75. Joe, stop biting your lip when you’re talking to Jess. It’s very distracting.
76. I still feel slightly uncomfortable about the whole coach-player romance.
77. “You bitch.” Ouch, that has to hurt.
78. Oh boy, Jess’s family is waiting to pick her up. She’s in big trouble now.
79. Jess and Joe are doing the whole “yeah, I don’t care about the kiss, let’s just forget about it” talk.
80. Meanwhile Jules is mad that they kissed…but they didn’t? Close enough I guess but people really need to stop jumping to conclusions in this movie.
81. And now Jules’ mum thinks her and Jess are dating. What a mess.
82. JESS, C’MON. Your first response to Tony coming out shouldn’t be “but you’re Indian?”
83. Back at it again with the sneaking off.
84. And that Basement Jaxx music.
85. And Baba Ji looking on ominously.
86. For crying out loud Tony, could you get any more ’00s with those yellow-tinted sunglasses?!
87. This dramatic tabla music really amps up the tension.
88. AHHHH Mr Bhamra is here. He knows everything, the gig is up, it’s all over.
89. That girl just clearly fouled Jess and called her a Paki???!!! SEND HER OFF, REF!!
90. And Jess gets the red card. Wooooooooooooooow. Disappointed but not surprised.
91. Finally some good news. The wedding is back on and the lights are going up again.
92. Watching Jules’ dad teach her mum the rules of football by using condiments is literally the cutest thing.
93. Like she’s trying to understand her daughter and her passions! Goals, goals, goals.
94. Meanwhile Jess receives top notch exam results and her parents are relieved because it means she can become a solicitor. What a contrast.
95. Nooooo! Not the Beckham posters. Poor Jess.
96. Oooooh Joe is back and he’s casually peering into the Bhamra’s house like it’s no big deal.
97. Well, that was a waste. But now it’s wedding time!!!
98. “Don’t smile! Indian brides never smile. You’ll ruin the bloody video.” – Looooool I know this is thing in in Indian weddings but why?
99. There’s a HORSE. I repeat, there’s a HORSE at the wedding.
100. For someone that has never worn a sari before, Jess is carrying it really well. I would definitely trip on all the fabric.
101. Tony, you’re being a good friend but my heart can’t handle any more family drama.
102. “Pinky is so happy and you look as if you’ve come to your father’s funeral.” Daddy B at it again with those fire lines.
103. Indian weddings are wild, so it’s entirely plausible that Jess could sneak off for an hour or two.
104. Yes, okay. This is your time to shine Jess. Impress that American scout!!!
105. Oh, I forgot that Jules’ mum thinks that her and Jess were dating.
106. I remember thinking that this scene with her family during the penalty was super cringe. But now I think it’s perfect…like it feels so right and good to share in Jess’ triumph.
107. Also did she just bend the ball like Beckham? Or was that just a catchy movie title?
108. The most unrealistic part of this movie is definitely the girls managing to tie Jess’ sari perfectly.
109. I LOVE HOW HAPPY AND TRIUMPHANT JESS IS RETURNING TO HER SISTER’S WEDDING. This is such a good moment.
110. I’m getting secondhand embarrassment from this confrontation between Jules’ mum and Jess.
111. “Lesbian? Her birthday’s in March. I thought she was a Pisces.” Hands down, this is the best line in the movie.
112. Woah, woah, woah. Tony, chill. No one is getting engaged here.
113. YESSSS JESS, TELL YOUR PARENTS THE TRUTH!!!! NO MORE LIES!!!
114. Oh, that did not go the way she wanted.
115. Wait, I spoke too soon. And now I need tissues, lots of tissues.
116. Did she…did she run all the way from her house to tell Joe?
117. Yesss finally the girl doesn’t have to end up with the guy at the end of a movie.
118. Really? They end up together? Fineeeee.
119. What random actors did they hire to play Posh and Becks??? They look nothing like them.
120. Eeeeeee Mrs B offering Jules’ Mum a tissue and introducing her family. Now that’s a happy ending.
121. Hold up, Pinky is putting Jess’ team photo on the mantle.
122. And her father is playing cricket with Joe even though he vowed not to play with goras anymore!!!!!! HUGE AND FANTASTIC AND A GREAT ENDING.
123. Hold up, I forgot about the bonus credits scenes.
124. This is a fun remix of “Hot-Hot-Hot”, even if it’s a little cringe.
125. Watching white people trying to sing Hindi lyrics makes me laugh. I’m sorry.
126. But everyone is happy and having fun. This is really cute.
127. And that’s it? Man, what a great movie.