Movie Review: CHALLENGERS with Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist – Racket of Emotions with Tennis and Tension! Friday 12 April, 2024

Luca Guadagnino’s exciting new movie CHALLENGERS serves up a compelling narrative where every conversation is a tennis match, and every tennis match is a steamy back-and-forth – get ready to be court-side for all the action!

Starring Hollywood’s reigning it girl, Zendaya, alongside Josh O’Connor & Mike Faist, this film isn’t your typical rom-com drama; it’s a passionate tale of lovers, friends, and tangled desires that serve up a match made in hell. Zendaya’s role in the film will have you seeing her as a real “ace,” going from a tennis “sweetheart” to a “savage” on and off the court!



This isn’t your usual romantic flick. It’s not about a damsel in distress or two buddies on an adventure; it’s a clash of love, friendship, and lust that will have you serving up emotions like aces on the court.

The peak of this film is when the match leaves the court and heads into a hotel bedroom. If you’ve caught the trailer, it’s a hot and steamy threesome with Zendaya taking center court. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a plot twist that will high ball some unexpected emotions your way in the theaters!

The action bounces back and forth between 2019 and 2006, with quick volleys at various points along the way. At the start, Art Donaldson (Faist) is a top tennis player chasing the U.S. Open to complete his career slam. But when he hits a losing streak, his wife and coach, Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), enters him in a “Challenger” event in New Rochelle, New York to fire up his confidence.

But what Tashi doesn’t anticipate is the appearance of Patrick Zweig (O’Connor). Former best friends, Art and Patrick, known as “Fire and Ice” on the courts, face off after a bitter falling out. Now, Patrick, down on his luck, is looking to serve up some revenge on the court against Art.

Guadagnino and cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom cleverly translate the tennis match dynamics into the visuals of CHALLENGERS, with a thrilling sexual encounter between Tashi, Art, and Patrick mirroring the intensity of an on-court rally. It’s a unique and visually captivating transformation that elevates the film.

So, as the match plays out on the court, the off-court game is still on. This movie could almost be a “bromance” on the courts, but the plot serves up twists with each scene, keeping the match tied. Will it be a “doubles” dilemma of bros before hoes or a game of love and war? The final set will have you wondering, who does she really “love” – the men or the game?


Rated: R for language throughout, some sexual content and graphic nudity

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CHALLENGERS serves up action in theaters on April 26th!

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty

Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at + @kiwithebeauty

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