Friday, October 16, 2009

Flashback Friday – Bend It Like Beckham

With the qualifying matches for next year's World Cup taking place, I was reminded of this movie. I love this film.

Soccer in America is a cute suburban sport. In the rest of the world it's a big deal and not a "cute sport". So when I told my dad I wanted to play on my high school's new Girls team (the Boys team was state champs for years and they finally started a Girls team), he was incredulous. Girls playing soccer!?

However soccer is not the reason this movie hit home. It was the parents. Oh my God I saw so much of my mom in in this movie. I was on the floor with laughter.

I bumped into a friend who's parents were Jamaican when I went to see the movie at the Grove (in L.A.). Like me she grew up in America. She had tears in her eyes as she walked out of the theater. She said she felt like someone had taped her phone calls with her mom.

Now that I'm older I can crack up about some of my mom bluntness (plus it prepared me for living in Italy) but when I was younger her words sliced through me. I felt a lot of pressure to live up to certain expectations while at the same trying to fit into American culture. Being black in non-diverse suburban town was not fun but to have parents who were never teenagers in America didn't help at all.

I talk to my mom at least once a week. Every week she asks the same questions, "Do you need money? Are you dating? Do you get enough sleep?"

She worries about me even though I tell her not to. She can't help it, she's my mom.

Have a great weekend.


Kim B. said...

It was so cool that this "little" movie won the hearts of millions. And wild to see all the actors who became huge deals!

I love the cross-cultural "applicability" and that you could totally see your mom in it. I should watch it again, I haven't seen it since I saw it in the theater.

Have a great (busy, hard-working) weekend!

Simone said...

I loved this movie and finally had the opportunity a year or so ago to show it to my 10 year old neice. She was already on her local soccer (or as she now says - football) team and loved it..I can recall her telling her step-dad (Trini)that she was going to "bend it like Beckham more than a few times in response to his "you play like a girl" comments! It definitely inspired! Thanks for the reminder!

Texas Espresso said...

This is one of my favorite films. I own it and bring it out whenever I need to laugh and just watch something lighthearted. Plus, I'm fascinated by the cultural themes of the movie.

good pick going into the weekend! Have a good one!

Fern Driscoll said...

I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed this movie when it came out - thanks for the reminder. It's time to watch it again! When I grew up girls couldn't play varsity sports - only gym class games. Somehow we survived ( :-) ), but I think we missed a lot of fun and some great opportunities for learning life's lessons. Still, it's a pleasure to do it all vicariously...

Shannon said...

I absolutely loved this movie. Thanks for reminding me about it. And with a Jamaican mother of my own, I could definitely see the similarities.

Liane Spicer said...

This movie has been on my wish list for years and I can't believe I haven't seen it yet. I'm going to order it right now.

gibber said...

ah, i so loved this movie. it also makes me sad because i saw it shortly before my MIL passed away. i remember joking with her about how much mom was like the mother in the movie...being set in her ways. and Jonathan RM...oh my, i thought he was so smokin hot. still do :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

kimB - It was a HUGE hit for such a little movie. It definitely struck a cord with a lot of people.

simone - You're welcome. I wonder if Trinidad is going to the World Cup again. Last time the "Soca Warriors" were one of the big stories of the tournament.

texas espresso - I own it too.

fern - I agree team sports can be really helpful and fun for girls.

shannon - I think I will buy this for my parents.

liane - enjoy!

gibber - Yes mom, God bless her, is very set in her ways. Then she calls us hard headed. hmmm I wonder where we got that from? ha

Jonathan might be hot but I so didn't buy him as a footballer.

milanesemasala said...

Great little film. Of course, I could relate to the film on many levels (except for the fact I didn't have to hide my fantastic athletic skills from my Indian parents because I totally SUCK at sports!!). But it's great to know that South Asians don't have the monopoly on bossy, nosy, overprotective mothers ;). Btw, mine didn't teach me how to prepare a full Indian meal before I got married. I learned on me own!!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

milanese - ha. no they don't. Come to think of it my mom hasn't taught me how to make any traditional West Indian dishes. Nothing is written down. My sister and I have tried to make her Jonny Cakes (it's like a fried biscuit) so far no luck.