80 for Brady review – a over-sentimental and ham-fisted comedy

By Marc Miller
Published: January 29, 2023 (Last updated: January 4, 2024)


Four golden girls, one golden boy, and a ham-fisted script prevent 80 for Brady from being a truly enjoyable comedy.

We review the film 80 for Brady, which does not contain spoilers.

Bill Belichick would have never allowed Tom Brady to be involved in such an over-sentimental, bordering on cloying comedy that is as phony as they come. The new comedy film, 80 for Brady, is part of the new genre of films dedicated to the sisterhood of traveling muumuus. Movies like Book Club (I’m still mystified about how this film has a greenlit sequel) and 2019’s Poms. The baby boomers have created an influx of senior-themed films that studios cater to on discount days for the midday show crowd. I’ll admit, 80 for Brady is more enjoyable than those films. However, this is nothing more than a harmless film you watch with your mom on Mother’s Day.

80 for Brady Review and Plot Summary

The film follows the story of four best friends. All of them are older adult women in their 80s. (Well, one of them reminds them she is still a fresh and young 75). They are all devoted New England Patriots fans. Well, more dedicated to what my wife likes to label as “Hot Quarterback Sunday,” as these seasoned women thirst for Tom Brady. I don’t blame them. I mean, every human of any age in the Boston area experiences polydipsia over the man. Why are these ladies such fans of the GOAT? Or, to be more accurate, why should you or I care?

It’s because Lou (Lily Tomlin) was going through chemotherapy 16 years ago. At the time, these friends took care of her. You have the former “Mayflower” girl-turned-romance novelist Trish (Jane Fonda), her well-off widower, Maura (Rita Moreno), and the statistics professor, Betty (Sally Field), all over to the house watching Drew Bledsoe almost die from a hit by New York Jets linebacker, Mo Lewis. A young, handsome, unassuming rookie quarterback came in to play for him. That man was Tom Brady (played by you guessed it, Tom Brady). This group of Golden Girls credits the golden boy with giving Lou the inspiration and strength that saved her life.

That’s when the group sees a local public access postgame show of the AFC Championship win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The duo (played by Michael O’Malley and SNL’s Alex Moffat) hosting the show is giving away four tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl. The only catch? Whoever calls in with the best story of why they deserve the tickets will win. Not wanting to waste anymore more time they have left to see their beloved Tom, Lou calls and wins the tickets.

Believe it or not, 80 for Brady is based on a true story of four older adult women’s love for everything GOAT and Patriot football. Directed by Kyle Marvin, making his feature directorial debut, working with a script from the writing partners of Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern. Yes, the same team that brought us Booksmart, one of the great coming-of-age films of recent memory. One would think the way these two wrote such a heart-swelling, factitious, quick-witted, ultra-cool, and savage comedy would have put their own spin on the surge of Golden Girl comedies over the past few years. They didn’t, and it’s head scratching.

For one, the film is an ultra-generic script watered down of anything meaningful. Where Haskins and Halpern excelled before, which is a problem with most films about anyone over 60, has mysteriously left them here. Their script is a much broader comedy. Why is it we can focus on and maximize a young person’s emotions and pains to create a well-rounded, three-dimensional character, but when it comes to a movie of the senior variety, they are cardboard cutouts?

You have Fonda’s Trish, the flirty romantic one. You have Moreno’s Maura, the feisty spitfire one. Let’s not forget the uptight, smart one played by Field. A road trip comedy should take some time to reveal the character’s desires and regrets, which are hardly touched here. There are also a few minor details in the football timeline that the film gets wrong. The most glaring being the Patriots played the Jaguars in the conference championship, not the Steelers. Yet, I will give them credit for at least getting the greatest comeback in NFL history correct.

I will say the film has a few laughs. Field has one of the movie’s funnier scenes, where she rejects Friday Night Light’s Alum Matt Lauria. Moreno gets the film’s most consistent laughs, finding herself in the most absurd situations. Yet, casting Guy Fieri in such an expanded role was a bit of a headscratcher. You will also notice the connection between Lou having cancer and Brady’s personal life. His own mother went through her own treatment in 2017. That wasn’t lost on me and does give the film some much-needed depth.

Is the movie 80 for Brady good?

I have no doubt 80 for Brady will play well with specific groups like older adults, but specifically Brady and Patriot football. While the film does have some laughs, Marvin’s film is too broad to be anything but a bland and generic comedy outing. The combination of lightweight writing and heavy, ham-fisted delivery is too distracting to be truly enjoyable.

What did you think of the film 80 for Brady? Comment below.

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