I'd been after this film for some time, and was pleased to be able to pick it up cheaply at the supermarket earlier this week. I was somewhat surprised when my mother (not, as far as I know, a fan of the cross-cultural sporting coming-of-age genre) said that she wanted to watch it last night. It turns out that someone had told her that it had been made around where we grew up in West London (Hayes, Southall, Hounslow, Heathrow - how those names mix memory and desire). Neither of us were disappointed - it's an excellent comedy, with some deft touches.
The story isn't perhaps the most original creation, but the merit of the acting is that it has you caring about what happens to the characters. Parminder Nagra is particularly good, although I thought Keira Knightley wasn't so skilled at handling the obligatory twists in her role. The direction is adept - particularly for the crowd scenes (the football games, the parties, the wedding). And the soundtrack - an exciting mixture of bhangra and Western music (though I must have missed Victoria Beckham's contribution) - is really well matched: one of my favourite parts was the use of the impossibly exhuberant "Move On Up" during a montage of the team training, which almost made me want to jump up and start kicking a ball around the room myself. Almost.