The more things change, the more they stay the same, the age-old adage goes. At a precarious time in the U.S.'s political and social history, it is far too easy to grow disheartened as those in power aim to strip away the hard-won rights of citizens who have for too long been treated as less than. Sometimes, though, it takes but a single soul to make a seismic shift, enlightening the public consciousness in ways which will hopefully carry down through generations. When reigning female tennis champ Billie Jean King accepted the challenge of competing against retired legend and self-proclaimed male chauvinist Bobby Riggs in a televised 1973 match, the promised $100,000 payday was beside the point. Sick and tired of the gross inequality, the gender stereotyping, and the unapologetic misogyny running rampant in her profession and throughout the country at large, Billie Jean had something to prove. No, women weren't too emotional. No, they weren't inferioróless fast, less strong, holding less stamina. No, their rightful place was not in the kitchen serving the men around them. Billie Jean was every bit as talented and able-bodied as any male tennis player, and she wanted the world to take notice.
Written and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (2012's "Ruby Sparks"), "Battle of the Sexes" is a stirring, affectionately felt biopic about a necessary milestone in sports history. While the film is a veritable on- and off-court rally between Riggs and King, moving back and forth as both their lives track toward their fateful confrontation on the court, Billie Jean's story is significantly more involving and dynamic. At the top of her professional game, declared the most successful female player of all time, King uses her stature to fight for parity with her male counterparts. When she is rebuffed for calling attention to the fact that the men's winnings are 8 times what the women make, she cuts ties with the Lawn Tennis Association, assembles together her fellow professional lady athletes, and starts a rival league alongside tough-talking business partner Gladys Heldman (Sarah Silverman).
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review