When I first heard about the premise of the new movie for 80 for Brady, I immediately thought Golden Girls meets Bridesmaids or vice-versa neither of which would be on the top of my personal watch list. But add in a dose of award-winning A-list comediennes and celebs, mix in a story with a sports lens and a pinch of the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All-Time) NFL Superstar Tom Brady and a host of cameo appearances and now you’ve piqued my interest.
Now the four ladies in question are not just any Hollywood actors but legendary icons: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Rita Moreno, who are 85, 76, 83 and is 91 in real life. Together account for almost three dozen Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes with Moreno having at least one of each so we know we’re in for a treat.
Without real spoilers or anything you wouldn’t see in the film trailers, the film is set in 2017 just prior to Super Bowl LI, where the New England Patriots were to play the Atlanta Falcons. It revolves around a group of four octogenarian women and lifelong friends who accidentally became massive football fans of the Patriots – their home team and in particular their all-star quarterback Tom Brady (#12) 15 years prior while one of them, Lou, having just completed cancer treatments.
The ages of these gals are not coincidental as the story is based, albeit loosely, on a real group of best friends – although in real life, there were actually five.
What parts of the movie are true? Who knows?
The movie opens, establishing the ladies’ annual Super Bowl traditions complete with superstition rituals like watching the game from a stepladder and purposely knocking over a bowl of potato chips while wearing bedazzled-clad #12 Patriots jerseys.
But in 2017 after the Patriots had won the AFC Championship and were headed to the big game to play the Atlanta Falcons, Lou suggests that they all go watch the Super Bowl game live in Houston where it was to be held. But with ticket prices out of reach for most of us they decided to enter a contest for free tickets a local sports show was putting on.
They four had clearly defined characters. Field plays Betty, a retired MIT professor and math geek with a needy husband. Fonda plays Trish, an erotic fan-fiction author and former spokesperson and model for an automotive dealership plays a Marilyn Munro-esque character with blonde wig for every occasion and desperate for male companionship. Morena plays Maura, the oldest – but perhaps the wisest who recently lost her husband and lives in a retirement facility. And finally, Tomlin plays Lou, the one who had the chemotherapy and concerned about her future is the instigator of the entire adventure.
While based on the true story many of the antics are somewhat laughable but the talent of this “Brady Bunch” allows them to pull it off and keep us cheering. Their adventures (and misadventures) start with the trio breaking the fourth (Maura) out of her retirement home in a wheelchair while she was passed out from inadvertently taking sleep pills.
They attend the NFL experience where Tomlin shows off her throwing arm embarrassing a much younger and male Falcons fan with her talents, while Betty enters a hot wing eating hosted by Food Network’s Guy Fieri contest just because she was hungry. They get invited to a fancy party end up eating gummies that were more than candy. Trish is discovered smooching with former NFL’er Dan O’Callahan (Harry Hamlin) in a closet and Maura sits down to play poker and enters an unknowingly high-stakes game.
These are just a few of their misadventures.
The four ended up almost not making it to the game a nice once there, narrowly escape being punted out but with a little help of Gugu (Billy Porter) and manages to convince security they were Lady Gaga’s backup dancers. But in a move like this it’s obvious that the heroines prevail but not before interfering with the game in which their team was behind 28-3. Of course, we know this historically as the largest comeback in Super Bowl history and the only Super Bowl game in history to be decided in overtime.
Also supporting the star-studded cast is Harry Hamlin, Billy Porter, Rob Corddry, Alex Moffat amongst others and cameos from former Patriots Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola who obviously played themselves.
There is a little irony that I happened to see the screening of the movie the same day Tom Brady announced his retirement from NFL Football (again). Brady not only appears in the movie he also produced it along with Donna Gigliotti.
Could there be a future for Brady in Hollywood? While I’m no expert, somehow, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Overall, despite the outrageous antics and the film’s predictability, it’s downright funny and entertaining regardless of who you are or what films you like to watch.
And beyond the antics of these fabulous four whose mission is to get to the game, there’s a nice selection of actual clips and film footage for sports enthusiasts.
The laughter doesn’t stop and goes beyond the final whistle with perhaps a tear or two in between. In times we’re in where we need a little sunshine, a smile, and a few belly rolls, 80 for Brady gives us that.
80 for Brady is playing in theatres now. Bring your family and friends. You’ll have even more fun if you go with a group.