The Stream: While funny, it’s also pretty corny.
The Big Screen: A quartet of legendary actresses having fun together.
The Final Bill: A basic story elevated by funny performances from acting legends.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Kyle Marvin
Writers: Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins
Stars: Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Rita Moreno
Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language, some drug content and some suggestive references.
Runtime: 1 hour 33 minutes
Production Companies: Paramount Pictures, 199 Productions, Endeavor Content, Fifth Season, Watch This Ready
Platform: In theaters February 3, 2023
Notable Trailers: Are You There God? It’s Me. Margaret; Book Club: The Next Chapter; Magic Mike’s Last Dance; Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Hey, Streamers! Just in time for *wink* “The Big Game” *wink* next week, a new sports movie rushes its way into theaters. While the newly-re-retired Tom Brady will not be making another appearance at *wink* “The Big Game” *wink*, he does loom large on *wink* The Big Screen *wink*. (See what I did there!?!?) Anyway, Tom’s retired contemporaries are celebrating their obsession for him in 80 for Brady. Here’s how these golden girls tackled it.
80 for Brady is inspired by a true story about four friends who got together weekly to watch their favorite quarterback dominate while he was on the New England Patriots. In the movie, it’s 2017 and Lou (Lily Tomlin), Trish (Jane Fonda), Betty (Sally Field) and Maura (Rita Moreno) get together every week to watch football, specifically Tom Brady. As the Patriots win the AFC Championship that year, Lou decides that they should make the trip to *wink* “The Big Game” *wink* because neither they nor Tom are getting any younger. Despite the high cost, the friends concoct a scheme to make their “life-long” dream come true. Geriatric hijinks ensue.
Look, I was in the tank for this movie from the first trailer. Tomlin, Fonda, Field and Moreno are acting legends and many times they are the best parts of whatever movie or TV show they’re in. All of them together was bound to be a homerun – I know, wrong sport. They do not disappoint. Each one gets a chance to shine with good comedic and tender moments. They all are bringing effervescence and fun. They are believable as friends, and they can spin gold, or at least silver, out of what could be subpar comedy. Outside of this core four, there are other notable appearances by Glynn Turman, Billy Porter and Bob Balaban, who make the most of small roles.
If it weren’t for the ladies of Brady, this movie would have been a fumble – see, I got that one. The story is predictable. The motivation for going to the game is easily guessed. The mode of getting to the game is pretty obvious. We already know the outcome of the game, so that’s no surprise. All of the plotting would be boring but for the stellar ensemble. Additionally, these jokes and situations can get corny, with a capital “C.” Some of these set ups you can see coming from a mile away, which is why this movie needed 3 Oscar winners and a comedy legend to sell it. They absolutely sold the hijinks and zaniness of the situation. Moreover, luckily, nothing is too embarrassing or cringy, so generally even the corny stuff is funny. It all leads to a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Aside: I will note that Tom Brady has a few acting moments that made be think, “Stick to your day job, sir.”
Ultimately, 80 for Brady is a very cute and fun movie. It has an excellent ensemble of legendary actresses who are selling the good time. If you are a fan of these ladies, then you will have a great time from beginning to end, but really, the story is pretty basic and can be corny. This comedy is the epitome of a great time at a matinee with a bowl of popcorn, then shuffle over to your early bird dinner.