Imagine being a conservative over the past decade.
You’ve watched the country transform into a woke “utopia,” where feelings trump facts and gender realities are kicked to the curb. Protesters decry words as “violence” while smashing public property. Educators treat children like pawns of their radical gender theories.
And, through it all, pop culture acts as if none of the above could be ridiculed.
Enter “Lady Ballers.”
Ostensibly a satire of trans women athletes, the DailyWire+ comedy pushes beyond that red-hot button issue. Oh, the film decries athletes like swimmer Lia Thomas for unfairly competing against biological women.
The film lets the conservative empire mock other progressive targets at every step. And it does so with smart gags, impeccable timing and an “amateur” cast that gets the job done.
Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing directs himself as Coach Rob, a flailing single dad trying to recapture his glory days. He wants to make his adorable daughter proud, but he isn’t sure how to thrive in the new woke order.
Why not go with the progressive flow?
Coach Rob reassembles his college basketball squad and enters them in a Global Games competition. The catch? His male athletes will dress like women and compete against biological females.
They may be older and out of shape, but they’re more than a match for female competitors.
Boreing told Megyn Kelly even “canceled” actors wouldn’t go near the project, forcing him to step in as the main character. He’s no Steve Carell, but he handles the gig with aplomb.
And he brought some co-workers with him.
“Crain and Company” regulars Jake Crain, Blain Crain, and David Cone make up the bulk of the squad along with Daniel Considine as the hulking Alex. Scene stealer Tyler Fischer goes gender fluid without losing a whisker of his big, brown beard.
— The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show (@clayandbuck) December 1, 2023
“Lady Ballers” plays out like Boreing, who co-wrote the film with Nick Sheehan and Brian A. Hoffman, poured every cultural frustration they had into the screenplay. Their jokes almost always land.
The targets? The WNBA. Soccer. Empty slogans like, “I feel seen.” And journalists. No project in recent memory tortures the Fourth Estate like “Lady Ballers.”
“I’m a journalist. I literally cannot be shamed,” says femme fatale Billie Rae Brandt as the schemer stringing Coach Rob and his team along.
A stellar bit has Coach Rob’s daughter mapping out all the new gender realities for her confused pappy, a visual depiction of the new woke order.
[Editor’s Note: This critic contributes to The Daily Wire]
The film doesn’t directly take on trans individuals. The focus is on trans women competing against biological women, the third rail of American culture. We’re told we must refer to such athletes as “beautiful and brave” … or else.
A late-blooming subplot finds one of the athletes taking his shtick too seriously, but it’s one of the few story beats handled with restraint and empathy. Fischer, in comparison, taunts trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney by recreating a variation of his “days of being a girl” routine.
“Lady Ballers” makes some avoidable miscues. A flashback sequence de-ages Boreing with CGI, but the film’s small budget can’t compete with how Hollywood uses that tech gimmick today.
A few punch lines feel like thinly disguised talking points even the game cast can’t sell.
“Lady Ballers” is a who’s who of Daily Wire pundits, recruiting everyone from Brett Cooper to Michael Knowles for meaty cameos. Seeing the stoic Matt Walsh as a yoga-loving hippie is a sight gag that never gets old.
Boreing deserves credit for maintaining a consistent tone and quality given the cast’s varying levels of experience. What could have been Amateur Hour on Ice becomes a very funny satire that goes where 99.9 percent of comedians fear to tread.
Make that 99.998.
Rock-ribbed progressives won’t appreciate “Lady Ballers,” nor will they find satirical targets appropriate. It’s still the most subversive comedy in ages, a smart bomb that obliterates its intended target.
HiT or Miss: “Lady Ballers” jabs a satirical finger in the eye of the Woke Left. It’s about time.