80 for Brady Review: A Well-Crafted Lighthearted Comedy
80 for Brady unites four female Hollywood icons in a sports comedy. Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field portray four elderly best friends who get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend Super Bowl LI and watch their hero Tom Brady play. What ensues are hilarity, hijinks, and a message that these legendary leading ladies still got it.
From the opening credits, you get the immediate essence of a ’90s comedy, a style we don’t often get anymore. This is a throwback movie, a lighthearted comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously but is easy to market to older audiences who have supported these legends for decades. The four best friends are longtime fans of the New England Patriots, and they hear about a giveaway for free Super Bowl LI tickets. After winning the giveaway, they arrive in Houston, Texas, to have the best weekend of their lives. For the most part, 80 for Brady works.
This movie was written by Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, the duo who had previously written the acclaimed Booksmart. This film exists to unite the four stars, and they are wonderful. They are distinct, have a few funny one-liners, and are given the right amount of time to shine. A subplot surrounding Trish’s (Fonda) erotic fanfiction novels surrounding tight end Robert Gronkowski plays out wonderfully throughout the narrative, as well as a poker game between Maura (Moreno) and a group of people that includes dance choreographer Gugu (Billy Porter). The story elements are carefully placed to pay off in the narrative, and while the setups and payoffs are not nearly as funny as they could be, 80 for Brady offers a few decent moments.
Some of the comedy is hit or miss, but it’s never a boring film. The aspect that holds the movie back the most is the familiarity with its structure. While there are a few unexpected moments in the narrative, the film retreads many beats standard for a comedy movie, despite not being one of the funnier ones. This is particularly clear during a sequence where the characters accidentally take drugs and begin seeing strange visions filled with Guy Fieri. Because if there’s anything that The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, 21 Jump Street, and even the writers’ previous film Booksmart taught us, every comedy movie needs a drug sequence.
Although the film could have leaned more into its outrageousness, 80 for Brady is a decent, well-crafted comedy film. This is the feel-good story that does not come often in a sometimes-cynical Hollywood landscape, but the movie does an excellent job utilizing its talented actresses. This film proves that age is just a number with a story that doesn’t reach its full potential but maintains a lighthearted comedic tone throughout its efficient runtime.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 6 equates to “Decent.” It fails to reach its full potential and is a run-of-the-mill experience.