By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated March 21, 2007 04:00 AM

Girls just want to have fun — and cheer their team at a World Cup soccer event. But that’s not easy in Iran, where women are banned from public sporting events. Those caught sneaking in are detained by bewildered boy soldiers in Offside, Jafar Panahi’s wonderfully funny, outspoken shaggy-dog story, a light counterweight to his sadder 2000 feminist drama The Circle. Absurdity reaches a peak in a hilarious set piece involving a guard, a ”prisoner,” and an escorted trip to the men’s stalls when a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. A-