80 FOR BRADY
February 3, 2023 / Paramount Pictures Canada
Rita Moreno, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Tom Brady
80 FOR BRADY is inspired by the true story of four best friends living life to the fullest when they take a wild trip to the 2017 Super Bowl LI to see their hero Tom Brady play. Starring Academy Award® nominee Lily Tomlin, Academy Award® winner Jane Fonda, Academy Award® winner Rita Moreno and Academy Award® winner Sally Field, with 7-time Super Bowl Champion and producer Tom Brady.
Written By Darren
Rating 3.5 out of 5
80 for Brady is an enjoyable comedy thanks to the winning performances of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Rita Moreno who inject the entire film with an infectious and wicked comedic energy that will have audiences smiling and laughing throughout the film.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events each year, drawing in millions of viewers to watch a football game. This year, the reach of the Super Bowl is extending to the silver screen with a comedy aimed at older audiences, who may not be the target market for the Super Bowl, but will no doubt love this Super Bowl centric film. Why? Because you have a cast of four legendary, incredibly talented and well respected actresses teaming up for a comedy: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Rita Moreno. You don’t even have to remotely care for football or understand how the game works to enjoy this film, and that is thanks to the lead cast who is just a delight to watch together on screen for the entire film.
Loosely inspired by a true story, the film follows four best friends who venture to the Super Bowl to see their favourite football player, Tom Brady, play in the big game before he retires. What ensues is an unforgettable trip full of shenanigans, laughs, and friendship as these four women make their way to the big game. And when I say loosely inspired by a true story, I mean very loosely as the women who the film is based on never went to the Super Bowl or met Tom Brady.
This is the type of film that despite all the roadblocks the characters face in the film, you know that everything will work out in the end because you cannot end this film on a depressing note. There is nothing special about the screenplay, it is pretty basic and patched together with serviceable editing. There are some great jokes, especially the ones aimed at older audiences that will be missed by younger viewers because they won’t understand the references. The story has its heartwarming moments as you watch these four friends support each other and chase their dream of meeting Tom Brady, easily providing enough story for the short run time. However, the film leaves the heavy lifting to the film’s cast, who make the entire film worth your time.
From the second the film was announced with Fonda, Tomlin, Field and Moreno in the lead roles, it immediately became something I had to see, because how could you go wrong with that cast. And they are truly outstanding in the film. Each of them are legends in their own right, but watching these four women share the screen is a true treat. The banter between them is an absolute delight, creating a brilliant dynamic that fuels the entire film. There is no question that the four leading actresses are talented, but it’s enjoyable to watch them just have fun together on screen.
If I had to pick my favourites, it has to be Field and Moreno who consistently stole the show with the most outrageous moments and funniest lines. Moreno had the wildest moments of the entire film, whether it be her drug induced Guy Fieri hallucination or her incredible luck at gambling, never missing a beat and making it hard to fathom that she is ninety one years old. Because you would never know it with the great energy she had in the film. Field had the funniest lines of the film, allowing her very responsible character to finally let loose, allowing Field to showcase a different side to herself and going against the typical role we have seen her in the past few years.
Supporting these four queens of cinema is a solid supporting cast. Billy Porter is a standout, playing himself, who has a wonderful on screen chemistry with Moreno and just brings that razzle-dazzle that he is best known for to his scenes of the film. Bob Balaban, Sara Gilbert, Jimmy O. Yang and Ron Funches are very funny in their scenes, each delivering some great laughs, while Harry Hamlin is a great love interest for Fonda’s character. And then there is Tom Brady playing himself, mainly as a figment of Tomlin’s imagination to guide her on her wild weekend. While it’s clear that he is not an actor given some of his clunky delivery of his lines, it’s a sweet touch to the film and fits the story perfectly as he is meant to be himself, not a polished actor. His big scene with Tomlin at the end of the film is absolutely heartwarming and everything you want from this film; it is a beautiful moment between Brady and Tomlin that encompasses the entire sentiment of the story.
Even with some of the best moments of the film being spoiled in the trailers, it’s hard not to be swept up by how much fun 80 for Brady is. Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Rita Moreno are absolute queens and create a truly unforgettable cast of characters with their performances that will leave you laughing and with a massive smile on your face, that combined with a heartwarming story, makes 80 for Brady the perfect film for the entire family to enjoy even if you aren’t football fans.