Thoughts: Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes is less about tennis and more of a Billie Jean King biopic. It's also about the struggle for equal pay and women's rights. But it's mostly a Billie Jean King biopic. 

The movie starts off with a clear pro women's rights and equal pay angle, and that should be the through line, but loses its message halfway through. That narrative gets pushed to the background for King's self discovery of her true self, aka her sexual identity. While it does feel a bit shoehorned in, the love story is still an important factor into who King was as a person. Oh, and there's also the story of Bobby Riggs in all his chauvinist glory.  

While it may seem like the film struggles to find itself, the acting in it is superb. Emma Stone is great as Billie Jean King and her internal struggle is brightly shown through each emotion. Steve Carrell does a great job playing up Bobby Riggs and his penchant for gambling and patronizing his rivals. Even Sarah Silverman does a fantastic job, and I'm typically not a fan.  

In all, this is a movie that struggles to find its way, mirroring King's own struggle to find herself. It flip-flops between the messages of equal pay and the titular "battle of the sexes" too much that it constantly has to remind you which topic they're on at the start of each scene. Definitely catch it on streaming or VOD, but there's no rush to go see this movie.

- Mike