The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became the most watched televised sports event of all time. The match caught the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts and animated the discussions between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world.
. The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.
Everyone involved did a great job in recreating a brief moment in time, and what was supposed to be just a fun show-biz promotion that ended up having a big impact on the way woman and men relate to each other. The King/Riggs match also greatly increased the prestige and purses in womens' sports on the professional level. This is a movie as much about the way people deal with change in their personal lives, as it is about how we dealt with the changes in the relationships between men and women in the early 70's - after years of upheaval that began in World War 2, when women were needed and allowed to take the place of men in factories and offices across the nation while many of the men were at war. Steve Carell and Emma Stone were great in the lead roles - they did a great job of drawing out the complexities in the lives of Riggs and King at the time of the events depicted - and the complexities of their personalities as well. There are several supporting players who also put in strong performances worthy of their talents - namely the always superb Elisabeth Shue, Alan Cummings, and Sarah Silverman, as well as Bill Pullman in a thankless role. I was watching the real match, and the events leading up to it, when it all happened. The movie brings back the real thing, and what it meant to many of us, very well. The only minor misstep in my opinion was one line at the end uttered by Alan Cumming that was just a bit heavy-handed in its message - but it was defintely a point very relevant to the movie, and to the time depicted in the movie - as it still is today.
I found it very enjoyable. I would find the misogyny completely unrealistic except that as someone raised on 50s and 60s sci-fi growing up, I've heard it as if that level of disrespect were completely normal. I'm glad we're better than that now, if not yet finished. Therefore, I found the story compelling and was right there with Billie the whole way. Each turn felt real enough to be engaging. Some folk say, 'boo it's not a comedy,' but it kinda is. A tragic comedy of errors put on display but the insecure chauvanism of an age I would never see come back. I'll even say, though... I felt compelled to like Bobby, too... perhaps just because of Carell's performance. I'm not sure if I was supposed to, though.
I was shocked at how this movie glorified the extramarital affair. This overshadowed the main plot of the movie which was women’s lib and the match. It also didn’t touch on the speculation and evidence that Bobby threw the match to cash in on his huge bet.
I married Bobby's daughter my high school sweetheart Dolly Riggs in the early 70's and became friends with Bobby in 1971 well before the conception of the match; over the years I traveled to Wimbledon with him and watched him play in the seniors singles and doubles in 1973 as were were sitting 2 rows below the Queen. We did a lot of world traveling together and became so close we were like father and son. I was very surprised and please by the accuracy when watching it with my daughter Sara and grandchildren. The early 70's was a revolutionary time and I truely believe this match bolstered the Women's lib and equality movement greatly by the male chauvinist pig challenge ( in truth Bobby Riggs was not a chauvinist ) but as the showman he was he new this would start the fire burning and it couldn't have happened at a better time in history! Really enjoyable and worth watching1. Paul Marks of Leucadia, Ca
Even fantastic actors struggled to unfold the directors vision, making this film awkward and boring.
I felt misled
Extremely drawn out and boring. The movie had very slow scenes that were very uncomfortable and awkward. I thought this would be a comedy, but didn’t laugh once.
You get up and turn it off way before it ends
Great acting and an important event in equal rights history. Nothing wrong with this movie. No explosions or 900 people dying.
A portrait of how far we’ve come. A reminder that we need to bring some BJK to the wage gap that still exists. This film left me feeling refreshed and inspired.
This movie was awesome!! Even though I knew how the match ended I was glued to the screen. Stone and Carell put in great performances.
Watch it. Winning and losing are irrelevant; we all grow. Great film.