"Battle of the Sexes" was probably supposed to be an awards-season movie for its stars Emma Stone and Steve Carell and its husband-and-wife directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris ("Little Miss Sunshine"). Aside from a couple of Golden Globes nominations, that scheme didn't quite pan out but the movie (out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD) is still worth watching.
The movie was inspired by the real-life media circus generated by 55-year-old former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Bobby Riggs when he challenged current women's champion Billie Jean King to an exhibition match in 1973.
Riggs demonstrated just how much cultural insanity one man could create in a pre-internet era. He was a one-man meme who dominated the newspapers and evening news. Imagine a Twitter storm in extreme slow motion.
Both Carell and Stone are great and the directors deftly integrate real news footage from the era and fantastic production design to capture the candy-colored pop culture of the early '70s.