Battle of the Sexes

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Rated Greg’s Top 5 Least Realistic Actor Athletes

  1. Tim Robbins throwing a baseball in Bull Durham
  2. Tom Cruise throwing a baseball in War of the Worlds
  3. Anything Michael J Fox does in Teen Wolf
  4. Wesley Snipes dribbling in White Men Can’t Jump
  5. Sylvester Stallone’s boxing defense in Rocky

In turbulent times like these, a no nonsense feel-good movie is just what the doctor ordered. Battle of the Sexes isn’t exactly the zany Steve Carell vs Emma Stone tennis laugh fest that I imagined when it was first announced, but it’s a splendid, heartfelt dramedy from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine that, at the very least, will make you smile as the credits roll.

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To go further, it’s not even really about the famous Bobby Riggs vs Billie Jean King exhibition match. Sure that event grabs your attention during the climax, but the focal point of the film is much more on the women’s tennis circuit of the early 70’s and its players’ efforts for gender equality led by Billie Jean King. At its core, Battle of the Sexes is a road trip movie with the same hopeful tones of other picturesque highway escapes  like the aforementioned Little Miss Sunshine or even the terrifically pleasant Netflix series G.L.O.W.

As for the leads, Steve Carell continues to play a lovable jerk quite like no other can, but the star of the film is clearly Stone, bound to continue her recent string of Oscar nominations. Well….. assuming the Academy can ignore the actual tennis played in this movie.  Neither Stone nor Carell will trick you into thinking they could moonlight in amateur tennis, but stunt doubles and creative angles will at least let you suspend belief.  Grade: B+

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