- Do something good without putting in any effort.
21st Century Fox is donating 79 cents to the Women’s Sports Foundation, an educational nonprofit founded by Billie Jean King, for every ticket sold opening weekend. Why 79 cents? Because that’s the commonly cited number for what women on average make for every one dollar earned by men.
- Incredible 70s fashion and hair.
The film looks as if it were shot in the 1970s and has a lot of fun with the costumes. Emma Stone can pull off any hairstyle, but Steve Carell took issue with an early review criticizing his bad wig in the film: “It’s my own hair!” He also said that the big sideburns he grew for the part did not do good things for his love life.
- There’s enough sports for sports lovers and enough story for sports haters.
The first half of the film explores Billie Jean’s new awareness of her attraction to a woman and chronicles her fight for equality. By the time the titular tennis match comes around, you’ll be so caught up in the action you won’t even mind. Or you’ll openly embrace it! I don’t know your personal preferences.
- The performances are fantastic.
Sarah Silverman steals every scene she’s in before disappearing halfway through the film. Emma Stone might get Oscar buzz for her portrayal of Billie Jean King, her first time playing a real person. I was surprised by how likable Steve Carell made Bobby Riggs, but he insists that Riggs didn’t believe the chauvinistic things he said and I wasn’t alive at the time, so who am I to contradict him?
- Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it (or whatever that person said that one time).
The Battle of the Sexes is a hugely important part of the history of the women’s movement. We stand on the shoulders of Billie Jean King and her brave colleagues. But winning one battle did not win the war, so go see the movie and get fired up for social change.
Bonus sixth reason: I went to college with one of the guys in the movie and when I ran into him at the valet after leaving the press junket, he was really gracious and we reminisced about Y2K.