The Battle of The Sexes

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Those of us who remember the landmark tennis match of the #1 woman’s player against a former top men’s player (and noted hustler) will have a ball being reminded of the suspense – and the high stakes for women in sports. Emma Stone, as Billie Jean King, actually looks like she has held a tennis racquet before. Steve Carell, as Bobby Riggs, has all the best lines, playing the male sex symbol for laughs. Sarah Silverman is believably tough as Gladys Heldman, who made the women’s tour possible by persuading Joe Cullman of Philip Morris (not in the film) to create the Virginia Slims tournament. I had forgotten that Riggs had beaten Margaret Court, then the women’s #1, in an earlier match, thus raising the stakes for the Billie Jean King match. We all vaguely knew about Billie Jean’s coming out as a lesbian, and the dissolution of her marriage, but this predictably becomes a major story line in today’s world.

Ken Roman

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