[Screen It]


(2017) (Emma Stone, Steve Carell) (PG-13)

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Drama: A female tennis champion must not only contend with confusion about her sexual identity, but also an older, chauvinistic male tennis pro who wants a match with her to prove male dominance in the sport.
It's the early 1970s and Billie Jean King (EMMA STONE) is a 29-year-old tennis champion, happily married to her husband, Larry (AUSTIN STOWELL), but upset that tennis league directors such as Jack Kramer (BILL PULLMAN) don't think female players should make as much as their male counterparts, even if their ticket sales are the same. Accordingly, she and women's tennis promoter Gladys Heldman (SARAH SILVERMAN) join forces with a small number of other players to create their own women's tennis league to compete with Jack's and go on tour. But first, they get a makeover for their press conference and that's when Billie Jean meets hairdresser Marilyn Barnett (ANDREA RISEBOROUGH), and the two quickly set sights on one another and end up in bed.

Unaware of that but knowing about Billie Jean's demands for equal pay and treatment, 55-year-old former tennis champ Bobby Riggs (STEVE CARELL) challenges her to a tennis match to prove male dominance in the sport. Billie Jean declines the offer, but her rival, Margaret Court (JESSICA McNAMEE), takes him up on the challenge and loses badly, something that helps stroke his ego now that his wife, Priscilla (ELISABETH SHUE), has kicked him out of the house over his gambling addiction.

Seeing Bobby now claim to be the number one player in women's tennis, Billie Jean has no choice but to accept his challenge for a match between them. As she prepares for that and continues to play in Gladys' tournaments, she must not only contend with Bobby's showy chauvinism, but also her confusion about her sexual identity, what with both Larry and Marilyn still being in her life.

OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
Coming soon.

Reviewed September 28, 2017 / Posted September 29, 2017

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