“80 for Brady” is truly a Super Bowl of silly and awkward fun
Finally, we’re just hours away from the biggest day in American entertainment. For months, millions of people across the country have been doing their best after closely following the career paths of their favorite players. They held watch parties every week; They tracked stats online; They place bets worth thousands of dollars. And it all comes down to one inevitable, monolithic event in February: the theatrical release of 80 for Brady.
If you thought for a moment that I might be talking about the Super Bowl, you didn’t care (or, somehow, got here without reading the headline). This year, the biggest weekend in cinema has been overshadowed by the biggest day in sports. Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Sally Field, and Lily Tomlin will make their way to theaters this weekend for a performance more entertaining than any of Rihanna’s “Microphones” the following Sunday.
ego 80 for Brady It’s like one of those unavoidable pop-up ads with some sort of clickable (yet vaguely nonsensical) headline designed to attract impressionable internet users. “Four grandmothers go to the Super Bowl, what happens next will warm your heart.” Other than that, just in case 80 for Brady, there is no virus that will immediately download to your hard drive for your curiosity. This is the fantasy world where we get everything that was promised to us, and its reward is that we have a heart big enough to want four lovable seniors to have the time of their lives.
This may seem like a relatively straightforward time in the movies, but that’s exactly what happens 80 for Brady Deliver: A dose of simple, lively fun.
80 for Brady It opens by introducing us to four close friends, each in their late 70s or early 80s. Lou (Tomlin), Trish (Fonda), Maura (Moreno), and Betty (Field) gather at Lou’s house every Sunday during football season to watch the beloved New England Patriots play.
The tradition began as an accident years ago when the women were all helping to care for Lou after her final round of chemotherapy. A dead remote battery forced them to endure a football game in the intended channel, until they all became so enamored of the hulking Tom Brady that they began to watch out for fun and get involved in the sport.
The four best friends, who call their group “80 for the Brady Club,” have spent so many games together that they’ve developed their own superstition. Trish must stand on a ladder at kickoff; Lu should spill a bowl of potato chips; Maura should drink the tea.
Their eccentricities have strengthened their bond over the years, and when the Patriots reached the 2017 Super Bowl, Lou decided it was time for them to take their love of the game to the next level by going in person. While the real-life group of loyal friends on which the movie was based never make it to football’s biggest game, the movie gives them a stunning reimagining of their wildest dreams.
This proves to be more difficult than expected of course. Super Bowl tickets aren’t cheap. Each woman hatches her own plan to try and win tickets to a local radio contest, but Lou has extra motivation to get her hands on it. She buys tickets herself, letting her friends think they have won the competition. But moving from Massachusetts to Texas for the game presents its own challenge. Maura has to move out of her retirement home following the death of her husband, while Betty needs to draw some clear boundaries with her beloved but needy husband.
It’s all just a rollercoaster that climbs to the top, ready to slide into a fun-filled thrill ride once the Brady Club’s 80’s hit the road. Although she avoids taking too many risks, 80 for Brady He feels more dependable than disappointing.
The script has plenty of gags that veer off close enough to shine, like Trish’s penchant for writing Rob Gronkowski’s cliché novels. In one particularly funny moment in Field, Betty urges the other women in the group to call the Fanny Pack group where she keeps Super Bowl tickets for her to “strap on.” Wearing it around her shoulder changes its name, she insists, because wearing a “belt” is more responsible than anything approaching her fans.
every actor in 80 for Brady loosely plays a version of themselves. dependable and strong domain personality; Moreno is adventurous and quarrelsome. Fonda is sexy and commanding. Tomlin is grumpy but sweet. This movie isn’t complicated for these actresses by any means, but it doesn’t have to be. 80 for Brady Feeling like it’s happening far from reality is one of the absolute comforts. There is not an iota of work to be done by the audience; This is real sit back and relax fare.
However, for a fairly minor movie, there’s sure to be a lot going on in it 80 for Brady to fill in all of its 98 minutes. Cameos and familiar faces keep the movie’s pace consistent like a fully charged Jazzy Scooter. Guy Fieri takes a pilgrimage from Flavortown to embellish the movie with his presence, helping our heroes get from point A to point B on multiple occasions, while also providing a hilariously calming presence to Maura when she accidentally trips too hard on hemp gum at Fieri’s lavish Super Bowl party.
There’s also Harry Hamlin and Billy Porter, who play two fictional agents for their real-life characters, who are only there to help the Brady Club’s octogenarians reach their ultimate goal: the prime seats in the biggest game of the year.
But Moreno, Fonda, Tomlin and Field are broadcasting 80 for Brady with its eternal charm. Each of them plays so well that they turn the movie into their own unmissable sporting event – for those of us who love helping out Mother Cinema more than any eight-tiered Super Bowl party. Each actress is very observant, so you can take the silliest, slapstick joke all the way to its fullest potential. These are the real MVPs (the most vibrant retirees).
80 for Brady Smart enough to know that no one who pays to see him in the theater is going to take it seriously. Even the most sincere moments are fleeting, always returning to the wonderful strength of friendship of her core club rather than becoming too tearful or saccharine.
This makes for some risqué acting attempts from Tom Brady, who does his best to convey an ounce of emotion from the soulless lizard’s eyes, while all four main cast members can swing it with a split-second glance. As if there weren’t enough reasons to watch this movie in a theater, I don’t know that I — or the audience I was with — laughed more in 2023 than when Brady gave Tomlin an emotional speech at the end of the movie.
Fortunately, this is easy to forget 80 for Brady Exists as an upstart vanity project for its titular producer. Its lively comedy and dedicated performances help the film transcend any sinful narcissism, and instead anchor it nicely in a bunch of hilarious road comedies.
Why on earth anyone would want to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon in February in front of their TV watching a football game – when they could watch this movie instead – is beyond me. Who cares which team wins the Super Bowl? 80 for Brady It is a sure victory where no one loses and everyone goes home a hero.
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