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Battle of the Sexes

Allison - AV March 16, 2018

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“Battle of the Sexes” is a 2017 biopic about the legendary female tennis player Billie Jean King (1943 – Present). It is the 1970s, and Billie Jean (played by Emma Stone) is campaigning for female tennis players to be paid the same amount as their male counterparts. When her request is denied by the organizer of the Pacific Southwest Championships (which paid men eight times the amount it paid to women), King and Gladys Heldman (played by Sarah Silverman) set up a competing tour of nine female players funded by Virginia Slims cigarettes. In 1973, former tennis champion and life-long gambler Bobby Riggs (played by Steven Carell) challenges Billie Jean in a “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match to prove that female tennis players are inferior to males. While the movie borrows its title from this famous match, the match itself (and tennis in general) plays a surprisingly small part in the overall film; instead, the storyline seems to revolve around the overarching theme of the fight for women’s equality and King’s love affair with her hairdresser, Marilyn Barnett (played by Andrea Riseborough). Overall, the film was interesting (but not engaging), its ending was predictable (even for those who are not familiar with the namesake match), and I find myself hoping I’ll not have to watch it again.

 Overall Rating: C+

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