'80 for Brady' review: Legendary cast enliven mediocre comedy
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
A toothless comedy that’s blessed with more star power than it deserves, “80 for Brady” features four on-screen legends in the last leg of their careers trying to woo older audiences back into movie theaters. It should work considering the appeal of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno and Sally Field starring opposite each other is enough juice to get even the most pessimistic viewer interested. Throw in the one, two punch of having the most bankable NFL star of all-time as your producing partner (and titular inspiration) and there’s something here for everyone. Even if the movie isn’t up to their pedigree (Moreno, herself, has an EGOT), “80 for Brady” should foster enough goodwill among its core demographic to become a moderate, though forgettable, commercial success.
Loosely inspired by the true story of a friend group’s shared Tom Brady appreciation, “80 for Brady” hones in on the octogenarian squad’s obsession of the famed quarterback and the lengths they endured to attend the 2017 Super Bowl where the New England Patriots pulled off the biggest comeback in championship history. Obviously, the movie takes massive creative liberties in regards to how these ladies actually made it there (financially and physically), but something tells me general audiences will look past how ridiculous some of these scenarios are, including a chance encounter with Guy Fieri and, of course, the GOAT himself, Tom Brady.
“80 for Brady," directed by Kyle Marvin, isn’t a coherent comedy so much it’s a series of vignettes pieced together for 100-minutes while the crew, made up of Lou (Tomlin), Betty (Field), Maura (Moreno), and Trish (Fonda), wiggle in and out of outlandish, and completely implausible scenarios. And the Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern’s screenplay puts these legends through the ringer: everything from weed gummies, hot wing eating contests, retirement home escapes, erotica fiction to thwarting Super Bowl security, meeting NFL legends and somehow managing to sneak into the New England Patriots coordinators sky box while the game is happening is interwoven into the screenplay. As are hopeless side-plots involving entangled love interests (hello Glynn Turman!) and marriage woes (poor Bob Balaban!) that do little to serve or enhance the plot, but hey, seeing Moreno do her best interpretation of being stoned isn’t completely useless. It made me laugh.
Which is a testament to the strengths of this lead ensemble who are more than capable of keeping a mediocre script from cratering into oblivion. It doesn’t make the movie any less memorable or engaging, but when you’re in good company, sometimes that’s the Hail Mary you need to get points on the board, and to keep you from losing patience.
80 FOR BRADY opens in theaters Friday, February 3rd.