80 for Brady is a clumsy love letter to Tom Brady, from Tom Brady
Tom Brady didn’t come out of retirement to play another season of the game he loves. He came back because a true movie star knows that drama sells tickets.
If you’re gutted from yesterday’s retirement announcement, go see 80 for Brady tonight. His film doesn’t focus on the end of his career but on one of the best comebacks in football history.
80 for Brady takes audiences to Super Bowl LI, when the Patriots returned from a 20-3 deficit against the Falcons. It is based on the true story of four women in their 80s grabbing onto what could be their last chance to see Tom Brady play in a Super Bowl.
The best friends Lou (Lily Tomlin), Trish (Jane Fonda), Betty (Sally Field), and Maura (Rita Moreno) fell in love with Brady when they accidentally got the TV stuck on a New England Patriots game Sept. 23, 2001. It just happened to be the match where Tom Brady replaced quarterback Drew Bledsoe after he was taken out of the game late in the fourth quarter.
It was love at first sight for these, now, die-hard Patriots fans. For the next 16 years, they gathered for every game day to watch their team. Then, when their favorite post-game show announced they would be giving away four tickets to Super Bowl LI, they entered to win. Miraculously the tickets are theirs, and they leave their families, partners, and worries behind to cheer on Brady.
Of course, along the way, just about everything goes wrong, and they have to depend on each other to make it into that stadium.
80 for Brady is a feel-good movie, thanks to the tremendous talent of the four leads. Although the writers give minimal backstory about their lives, their relationship is engaging and will remind you of the antics you’ve gotten into with your best friends.
Trying to look past the leads often left us disappointed, but there was one pair that grabbed our attention every time they were on screen. The post-game show hosts Pat (Rob Corddry) and Nat (Alex Moffat) appeared sporadically but didn’t waste a second.
Both have a background in comedy and brought consistent and quick comedic timing that was lost in most parts of the movie.
Last, but certainly not least, if you see this movie for nothing but the wardrobe, you will be pleasantly surprised. Costume designer Ally B. Fanger, known for 10 Things I Hate About You and Grace and Frankie, went above and beyond in this film. We could tell the personality of each character just by looking at their clothing.
Avid football fans will also enjoy seeing some of their favorite players on screen. Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman make memorable cameos. The mayor of Flavortown, Guy Fieri, also makes an appearance.
Overall, not every joke landed, and some of the writing was so cringeworthy we had to cover our eyes, but when the leads were able to let loose and play off of each other, the scenes were interesting and heartfelt.
It’s a film that will make you leave the theater feeling thankful for friendships and even more thankful that 80 for Brady was the only time we would watch Tom Brady in a Super Bowl this year.