Courtesy, Paramount Pictures

Movie Review: 80 for Brady

09:00 February 06, 2023
By: Fritz Esker

There haven't been a lot of straight-up comedies to be released in theaters since the pandemic. Some articles have postulated that people are unwilling to see simple comedies in theaters in a streaming era (I dispute this since 2019's Good Boys and 2022's Ticket to Paradise were hits at the box office). So it's nice to see that trend appears to be changing with releases like 80 for Brady. The film is sitcom-esque in both good ways and bad, but it benefits greatly from the work of its four leads (Sally Field, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno, and Jane Fonda).

The four senior ladies are friends who became New England Patriots fans during Tom Brady's first season. Watching the games served as a distraction and an inspiration for Louella (Tomlin) as she battled cancer and went through chemo treatments. Cut to early 2017 and the Patriots are in another Super Bowl with Brady. Louella talks her friends into traveling from Boston to Houston for the big game.

Of course, complications big and small arise. Some jokes are funny; others elicit eye-rolls. But the movie's strength is reminding viewers how funny the leads are. Hollywood is notoriously stingy when it comes to leading roles for older women, so it's nice to see these gifted actresses back in the spotlight again. Even when the film is at its silliest, you still root for them. Saints fans will also enjoy seeing game footage of the Patriots' miraculous comeback victory from down 28-3 late in the 3rd quarter vs. the Falcons. The mostly full auditorium I watched this film with seemed to enjoy it.

Viewers unfamiliar with the work of the movie's leads should check out All of Me (Tomlin), 9 to 5 (Tomlin, Fonda), and Absence of Malice (Field).

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