"80 for Brady" stars Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Sally Field, and Tom Brady. Releasing on February 3, 2023, the film has four friends going on a road trip to watch Tom Brady play in the Super Bowl.
The film is directed by Kyle Marvin, who's known for producing films like "The Climb", "Kicks", and "Hunter Gatherer". You're never too old to have some fun every once in a while, especially when you have friends by your side. In this case, part of the fun is going to a football game to support your favorite team. With January reaching its conclusion once again, we're now getting into the main courses, starting with the ones in February. Most people are hyped for another M. Night Shyamalan movie, dancing sexy men, or even a trip into the Quantum Realm with Ant-Man. However, some of us are excited to see four fantastic actresses go "goo-goo" over Tom Brady. I'm more of an Aaron Rodgers fan, but everyone has their preferences regarding their favorite quarterbacks, so I'm not judging. But enough of our little football talk. It's time to see if this latest sports comedy can score a few touchdowns in its concept.
The story follows four elderly friends: Lou (Tomlin), Trish (Fonda), Maura (Moreno), and Betty (Field). The pals have one thing in common: they're all big fans of the New England Patriots and adore the team's quarterback, Tom Brady (appearing as himself). So when the Patriots make it to Super Bowl LI, the friends travel to Houston to watch their favorite hero play in person with the tickets they won from a contest. While exploring the stadium, however, they eventually lost the Super Bowl tickets. So as they scramble to find the tickets before the game starts, Lou and the others unexpectedly get into unusual situations that'll test their friendship.
The movie doesn't come out until this weekend, but I was able to catch it early thanks to its early access screening. As soon as I saw that ad for the screening, I immediately purchased the tickets and invited my mom to join the fun with me. It's opportunities like this that you got to take, especially when you're a film fanatic like me. More importantly, it helps to beat the rush before it even begins.
I recently have a soft spot for movies aimed towards an older crowd featuring iconic actors having fun onscreen, mainly comedies. While I don't consider them instant classics, I appreciate them for providing fun escapism and harmless scenarios that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age. So it's no surprise that I was interested in this latest sports comedy. It's got an amusing premise that's based on true events, several award-winning actresses, and of course, the legendary Tom Brady playing football. But, of course, it all comes down to whether these elements are enough to provide decent counter-programming from the other highly-anticipated films in February.
The thing to know about the film is that it has a plot that's as simplistic as throwing a football. It mainly consists of four female friends going to the Super Bowl and getting into a few fun shenanigans, including a hot wing contest hosted by Guy Fieri. While it does sound like another movie involving outrageous comedy and far-fetched scenarios on paper, "80 for Brady" shows that that's not the case. The film keeps itself limited from abandoning the plot to have four elderly ladies go nuts every few minutes in favor of a restrained and light-hearted depiction of friendship and inspiration. Most people expecting something else from it based on the trailer would be as upset as when their favorite team lost the championship game. However, everyone else willing to stay after the first quarter would find themselves having as much of a good time as I did. It's no game-changer, but it delivers what I expected for the most part.
There were also a few instances of character depth thrown in the story for good measure, including Lou, who's determined to see Brady play after watching him on TV helped her survive cancer. There's also Trish, who became a famous writer from her romance novel about Rob Gronkowski, and Maura, who's dealing with the loss of her husband. A couple of them felt like unnecessary additions, especially Betty's husband's problems, while some were suitable in providing a healthy amount of heart and humor in the film's scenarios, with the best one being Lou. The screenplay by Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern (known for co-writing Olivia Wilde's "Booksmart" together) isn't something I would call "award-worthy" regarding those topics, but it's decent enough to provide some humorous dialogue and heartfelt moments. Sure, some of its moments can come off as cheesy sometimes, but they also have a sense of wholesomeness that generates smiles instead of agonizing groans.
The film's heart and humor are primarily due to the cast, mainly the four main leads. When I saw the film's trailer, I knew that the actresses onboard would be the best parts of the movie. For films like "80 for Brady", it's always crucial to have the right actors that can work well together through their charm and spirit, especially those we grew up watching on the screen. If the actors look like they're having a fun time, the audience will also have a good time. Unsurprisingly, "80 for Brady" is another movie that fits this description. Tomlin, Fonda, Moreno, and Field were all splendid in their roles as Lou, Trish, Maura, and Betty, respectively, and the chemistry between them was undoubtedly charming. They swiftly help elevate its basic plot and the limitations of its comedy. The supporting cast also delivered enough moments to be as fun as the actresses, with my favorite being Billy Porter as Gugu, a dance choreographer who helps the ladies get into the Super Bowl. Then there's Tom Brady, who's the latest sports player to try his hand at acting in and producing a movie. Long story short, his performance isn't something to write home about, but his skills on the field are more than enough to make up for it.
As for its other flaws, aside from its imperfect screenplay, the movie offers almost all of the comedic moments that were from the trailer, resulting in it being predictable at times. However, the ones in the final cut still proved to be as funny as they were in the marketing, so I can't complain too much about that. There's also a sequence involving the characters going to a party that ran a couple of minutes too long.
Overall, "80 for Brady" is a light-hearted and charmingly comical trip to the Super Bowl that takes advantage of its simplicity and goodwill. It's easy to see that it's not a perfect winning streak regarding its script and limitations for its humorous scenarios. However, it was able to score enough touchdowns to get its target audience cheering. From its charismatic main leads to its suitable mixture of humor and sincerity, the film is another harmless and heartwarming distraction from the outside world that's as crowd-pleasing as the sport itself. So if you're into something that doesn't involve the apocalypse, blue-skinned aliens, or even superheroes in a massive CGI world, this film should fit your needs and quench your thirst for feel-good sports movies.