Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, and Rita Moreno are teaming up to pay a cinematic tribute to the legacy of Tom Brady. Arguably he should be kissing the ground these Hollywood juggernauts have walked but its not that kind of movie. Based on a real group of elderly women and their devotion to the former Patriots’ quarterback, 80 for Brady is a surprisingly fun romp that doesn’t embarrass its subjects like past films that focus on older demographics.
Tomlin stars as Lou, the leader of an older group of women who get together every Sunday during football season and watch the Pats game. She’s joined by the unlucky in love Trish (Jane Fonda), Betty (Sally Field) the responsible married one who is looking for her own identity, and Maura (Rita Moreno), who lives in a retirement home and can’t get over the death of her husband.
It’s 2017 and all are excited for Brady to get his fourth Super Bowl ring. With his (first) retirement imminent, the women decide to enter into a giveaway to see if they can win tickets for sport’s most coveted event. They do and they set off to Houston to make the most of their adventure. From beating younger men athletically, to hooking up with rich former professional players, to taking edibles, and winning Guy Fieri’s spicy wing contest.
The film doesn’t have a plot so much as a sequence of funny things that happen to them. Something bad happens to the group, they freak out, other shenanigans go down and the original issue eventually works itself out with little fanfare. What’s important is that each of these women have substance, that their arcs have meat on them. Sure, they aren’t the most detailed, but its more than most comedies about this age demographic get.
Field, Moreno, Tomlin, and Fonda are great. The latter two have entered into this sacred space where we hold older celebrities that can do no wrong like Dolly Parton and the late Leslie Jordon and Betty White. They don’t really do anything differently from their time on Grace and Frankie but it’s fun to watch them work anyway. Field and Moreno are delightful as well.
80 for Brady could make better use of its 98-minute runtime as the pacing and plot feel thin and slow at parts. It feels like both a long two-hour movie and twenty minutes too long. Not all the jokes land but some surprisingly do, which is enough for a February popcorn comedy.
80 for Brady is in theaters now. Watch the trailer below.