Battle of the Sexes 1.0 stars

Battle of the Sexes movie poster

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris — the team that brought you the irrepressibly cheerful Little Miss Sunshine — are back with another blast of candy-colored confection, this one based on what is considered by many to be the most highly publicized tennis match in history. Steve Carell stars as former champ Bobby Riggs, an inveterate hustler whose flair for self-promotion and aptitude for playing the sexist pig when the cameras rolled led him to challenge the much younger Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) to the titular contest. All that’s expected from the leads is that they put forth a competent degree of mimicry; the secondary characters, meanwhile, are left with little to do but flounder. Such is certainly the case for King’s hairdresser-turned-love-interest, Marilyn Bennett (Andrea Risenborough). She’s a superb actress, yet she has little to do here besides squander valuable screen time wandering doe-eyed through intense close-ups in what should have been a made-for-HBO exclusive. With Bill Pullman and Sarah Silverman. 2017.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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