80 for Brady stars Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Rita Moreno … and Tom Brady

Greg GazinWhen I first heard about the premise of the new movie for 80 for Brady, I immediately thought Golden Girls meets Bridesmaids, neither of which would be on the top of my personal watch list. But add in a dose of award-winning A-list comediennes and celebs, mix in a story with a sports lens and a pinch of the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All-Time) NFL Superstar Tom Brady and a host of cameo appearances, and now you’ve piqued my interest.

The four ladies in question are not just any Hollywood actors but legendary icons: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Rita Moreno, who are 85, 76, 83 and 91, respectively. Together, they account for almost three dozen Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes, with Moreno having at least one of each, so you know you’re in for a treat.

The film is set in 2017, just before Super Bowl LI, when the New England Patriots were to play the Atlanta Falcons. It revolves around a group of four octogenarian women and lifelong friends who accidentally became massive Patriots football fans – their home team – and, in particular, all-star quarterback Tom Brady.

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The Brady Bunch: (from left) Rita Moreno, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Sally Fields

The story is based, albeit loosely, on a real group of best friends – although, in real life, there were actually five.

The movie opens by establishing the ladies’ annual Super Bowl traditions, complete with superstition rituals like watching the game from a stepladder and purposely knocking over a bowl of potato chips while wearing #12 Patriots jerseys.

After the Patriots won the AFC Championship in 2017 and were headed to the big game to play the Atlanta Falcons, Lou suggests that they all watch the Super Bowl live in Houston, where it was to be held. But with ticket prices out of reach for most of them, they decided to enter a contest for free tickets a local sports show was putting on.

The four had clearly defined characters. Field plays Betty, a retired MIT professor and math geek with a needy husband. Fonda plays Trish, an erotic fan-fiction author, former spokesperson, and model for an automotive dealership, as a Marilyn Munroe-esque character with a blonde wig for every occasion and desperate for male companionship. Morena plays Maura, the oldest but perhaps the wisest, who recently lost her husband and lives in a retirement facility. And finally, Tomlin plays Lou, who has just completed cancer treatments and is concerned about her future and is the instigator of the entire adventure.

Their adventures (and misadventures) start with the Betty, Trish and Lou breaking Maura out of her retirement home in a wheelchair while she was passed out from inadvertently taking sleep pills.

Some of the antics these four get up to include:

  • Tomlin showing off her throwing arm and embarrassing a much younger male Falcons fan with her talents
  • Betty entering a hot wing eating contest hosted by Food Network’s Guy Fieri just because she was hungry
  • all four getting invited to a fancy party and ending up eating gummies that were more than candy
  • Trish caught smooching with former NFL’er Dan O’Callahan (Harry Hamlin) in a closet and
  • Maura unknowingly entering a high-stakes poker game.

The four almost end up not making it to the game and, once there, narrowly escape being thrown out until they were able to convince security they are Lady Gaga’s backup dancers.

Of course, the heroines prevail, but not before interfering with the game when their team was behind 28-3. The 2017 Super Bowl, by the way, was the largest comeback in Super Bowl history and the only Super Bowl ever to be decided in overtime.

Besides Hamlin, the star-studded supporting cast includes Billy Porter, Rob Corddry, and Alex Moffat, among others, with cameos by former Patriots Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, who played themselves.

Ironically, I saw the movie on the same day Tom Brady – who not only appears in the movie but also produced it along with Donna Gigliotti – announced his retirement from NFL Football (again).

Could there be a future for Brady in Hollywood? While I’m no expert, somehow, I wouldn’t bet on it.

80 for Brady is downright funny and entertaining. And beyond the antics of four stars, there’s a nice selection of actual clips and film footage for sports enthusiasts.

80 for Brady is playing in theatres now. Bring your family and friends. You’ll have even more fun if you go with a group.

Rating: 3.5/5

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. 

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