I went to see Bend it like Beckham last night and haven't enjoyed a movie that much in a long time. Though the plot is nothing new (teenage girl rebels against traditional parents, falls for guy, etc.) it's well acted, fun, and refreshing because of the details. The girl is rebelling because she wants to play soccer (called 'football' in the movie because it takes place in the UK). Finally, a movie about girls and sports, featuring strong, healthy, active girls playing soccer and having fun together. I can't even think of another movie that features girls and sports. There are no make-up crises, or prom crises, instead it's whether Jess, the protagonist, can go with her team to a match in Germany. Yippee! Plus it has fun music and confronts the stereotype that girls who are into sports are lesbians. Highly recommended for everyone, but especially if you played sports when you were younger. Also recommended for teen and pre-teen girls looking for a coming-of-age story where a young woman learns who she is (and wants to be) through athletics and family, as opposed to the mall and Vogue. Yippee again!
Via email, two more sports + girls movie suggestions: Blue Crush, about surfer girls in Maui and based on a Susan Orlean article and Girlfight, about a girl who takes up boxing in NYC. I've been wanting to see both and forgot, so I appreciate the reminders. Thanks folks!