“Male chauvinist pig versus hairy-legged feminist!” With these words, former Wimbledon champ and perennial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) challenged the sport’s No. 1 woman Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) to a “Battle of the Sexes.” Part media circus and part orchestrated spectacle, their infamous 1973 tennis match in Houston’s Astrodome was watched by millions—and made history.
From the directors of Little Miss Sunshine, this utterly winning comedy captures the era perfectly as the two celebrities also fought more private and complex battles. Stone is sublime as a steely, unshowy King who struggles with an unexpected attraction to a female friend, knowing that this relationship could destroy her marriage and career. As Riggs, the buffoonish gambler desperately trying make a big score, Carrell brings a sincere pathos to the role. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today.