BATTLE OF THE SEXES – review

BATTLE OF THE SEXES
 
I am rather young, and tennis was never my sport of choice, so the name Billy Jean King meant very little to me before seeing Battle of the Sexes. Now that I have seen the film and heard her story, I wonder how I had never heard her name before.
 
Emma Stone plays Billy Jean King, a professional female tennis player in the 1970s who fought for women’s rights on and off the court. The story starts with Billy Jean fighting for equal prize money for a tennis match. The men’s prize was eight times the size of the women’s prize. This was just the first battle she fought. Ultimately, the movie leads up to the battle of the sexes game where the 29-year-old Billy Jean King plays the 55-year-old world-ranked tennis champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell).
 
I was not expecting this movie to be as funny as it was. I knew the very baseline of the story from the trailer, but there was a lot the trailer did not show. The cast was amazing, and I never for a second doubted the character. The movie held my attention the entire time. There were slow moments, but it was never so slow that I was distracted from the story. Overall it was a great film.
 
The thing that surprised me most about this film was I had never heard of Billy Jean King. I have heard the story of many other female pioneers. An athlete who fought for equal pay in a “country club” sport spoke volumes to me. An athlete taking a major pay cut and potentially putting her career in jeopardy is a story I do not hear often. The message that it does not matter what your profession is or who you are, you can make a difference for many by making a difference for yourself. 
 
I really enjoyed this film. With the film being from the makers of Little Miss Sunshine I was a little nervous, as it is not my favorite movie. Overall, it was a funny and well-told story. I recommend seeing Battle of the Sexes!
MARY HERRIES

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