"80 for Brady" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Football is a huge sport for millions of Americans across the nation, with diehard fans tuning in for every game their favorite team plays. When you think of those fans watching football, you think of young men and women having huge football parties, or going to the tailgate parties at the games. You wouldn't expect a group of four 80-year-old women enjoying this game, going as far as to make sure they watch every Patriots game of the season. Yet, that is the true story that inspired "80 for Brady", a heartwarming and fun film that contains hilarious performances from the wonderful Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field.
The movie opens with our four main actresses all gathered around the TV, getting into various different positions for kick-off, such as Field's character Betty standing on a ladder and Fonda's character Trish reading a magazine in the dining room. This is the tradition they have for every kick-off, hoping that it will bring their team luck since the first time they did this, the Patriots won. They are devoted to watching the Patriots play, and it all started 16 years ago, according to Tomlin's character Lou. It is then when she tells her friends, "Let's go to the Super Bowl!"
They all think she is crazy since they can't afford tickets to the huge game, but though sheer luck and a compelling story, the four ladies win tickets to the Super Bowl from a Patriots' radio show. They then travel to Houston, where they enjoy all the festivities that the NFL has to offer, getting in trouble here and there along the way. When an unfortunate situation happens and the ladies lose their tickets, they must now figure out a way to get inside the game, accompanied by famous celebrities including Billy Porter, Guy Fieri, and Patton Oswalt.
Each lady is so different in their own circumstance. Lou went through chemotherapy and survived, making the Pats her biggest obsession and reason for happiness after finding them after her chemo appointments. Betty is a teacher who has to deal with her husband most of the time, who is so reliant on her for everything and can't make his own decision. Rita Moreno's Maura lives at a retirement home (even though she owns her own house) because her late husband used to love it there, as well as having a gambling problem. Finally, Trish is an erotic romance writer, with her books centered around Tom Brady's teammate, Rob Gronkowski. The film makes an effort to show how different each one of our main characters are, especially since many films like this just make all of the characters seem too alike from one another. Yet, at the same time, it shows how all of the women became friends through their differences, separating all of the characters into their own little story arcs inside of the main arc of friendship and achieving their lifelong dreams.
The film moves at a very fast pace, and is so much fun to watch. It allows our characters to get into these hair-raising situations, and all of the actresses know how to perfectly capture the essence of the humor of these situations and deliver a good time for the viewers. Each actress is so much fun to watch and are able to add their own special charm to their respective performances. Each one is an amazing actress and have been in numerous masterpiece films throughout their careers, but this movie really allows them to let go and have a lot of fun, which is always amazing and great to watch.
I really applaud the performance that Tomlin gives when she is talking to Brady in the helmet-headset. She really gives a raw and emotional performance as this character, which any viewers going through the same hardships as her can genuinely relate to. It also sort of serves as a high point in this film, showing how they went through so much to get to this one point and they finally did it, and it all paid off in the end. It's just a very emotional and heartwarming scene to watch, and I think Tomlin did a stellar job in delivering her lines.
Tom Brady and the other NFL stars present in the movie were a very fun addition. If I'm being honest, I was expecting a lot more of them throughout the movie since almost every scene they were in was shown in every trailer for this film. At the same time, we have seen movies like this; the plot structure and formula are similar to many other films like this. There are films like "Book Club", "Going in Style", and much more that consist of older actors playing similar roles. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but the movie becomes very predictable and you know what is going to happen next. Yet, in this case, the four main leads make you forget all about that and deliver a truly fun and energetic film for any audience to enjoy.
I definitely had a lot of fun with this movie, and I sort of wish we could have seen much more of these characters after the credits rolled. It was a lot of fun, it was heartwarming, and just a great comedy for audiences of all ages. Sure, it may be predictable and follows the same plot structure as many other films like this, but I would still consider this a pretty great comedy film with some fantastic actresses in the lead roles. Maybe they can deviate from the true story some more and deliver a sequel with these same characters?