The filmmakers for this movie deceptively use the names of David Beckham and Michael Owen to attract attention. Because When Beckham Met Owen has no story of its own to draw viewers.
Originally titled Dong Pek Ham yu sheung O Wan, the movie follows the life of a 13 year old Chinese boy in Hong Kong. He goes to school, he watches Real Madrid on TV, he has a buddy, they play on the school soccer team, the buddy talks about girls, the boy says that’s disgusting, and the team showers a lot. At the end, the boy tells his mom he’s gay. The end.
Which raises an existential question. If a movie gives no clue it is a gay coming of age story until the very end of the movie, is it really a movie about gay issues? I don’t think so. And this movie is not about soccer. The soccer is so spliced up that there is no sense of play. This movie is about nothing. Although, I did learn that it was hard to buy a live chicken in Hong Kong during the bird flu epidemic.
For me, the saddest part was Writer-Director Adam Wong’s exploitation of his young male actors with repeated shower scenes. The camera dwells on their figures, and he has the boys remove their shirts to fight on a concrete soccer field. I just felt sorry for these actors.
1 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 1