80 for Brady might have some moments that feel too unrealistic to believe but the film is very hysterical with laugh-out-loud moments.
It’s no surprise that this film is so hysterical because it’s written by both Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern. The duo created Trophy Wife and went onto co-write Booksmart. Meanwhile, the cast only elevates the material and their delivery helps bring even more laughter. There are some moments that are so absurd that the laughter just comes out of you anyway, I went to a sparsely attended press screening and was probably laughing the most.
Lou (Lily Tomlin), Trish (Jane Fonda), Maura (Rita Moreno), and Betty (Sally Field) are best friends. They’ve been watching Tom Brady play for some 16 years or so, ever since he replaced Drew Bledsoe at quarterback. Since this time, they watch every game together. If they do something during a game and the Patriots win, they repeat it the very next game. You know how superstitious some fans can be! When a local Pats has four tickets to giveaway, they all try to win them. They’ve never been to a Super Bowl before and this gives them a chance at seeing their hero play in the biggest game of the year.
I want to stress two things first and foremost. One is that loathe Tom Brady and the New England Patriots with passion. This comes from growing up as a fan of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Two, my feelings on the NFL are at an all-time low because of CTE, the weak domestic violence policy, and just how violent the sport is in general. That being said, most of the film does not focus so much on the game itself in as much as they do on the friendship between the four of them. When you reteam Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, you know exactly what you’re getting. Plus, Billy Porter always finds a way to steal the show, too. Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are among former Patriots returning for the film.
Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern’s very hysterical script is full of so many misadventures. That being said, it is inspired by a true story. In real life, four friends really did take a trip to Super Bowl LI in 2017 to see Tom Brady play. One has to wonder where fact differs from fiction because there are things in this film that would seriously lead to getting kicked out of the stadium. It would be hysterical if one of them wrote erotic fiction about Rob Gronkowski in real life. Please don’t get any ideas…
Where Haskins and Halpern wrote the script, The Climb‘s Kyle Marvin steps behind the camera for his feature directorial debut. While it helps that he’s a football fan, there’s a lot of pressure that comes with directing the four women. If Marvin is on board, Michael Angelo Covino is close by. The Climb filmmaker executive produces the film.
On paper, this is definitely a “girls just want to have fun” film but with a twist. The script brings in both party movie and buddy comedy elements. When it appears that the odds are against them, they go into survival mode and do whatever it takes. Like I said, this is a laugh-out-loud comedy even if you loathe Brady and the Patriots with a passion. My feelings for the Patriots are no different than the Los Angeles Lakers or the Chicago Cubs. And yet, this does not stop me from laughing at the comedic moments including specific spoilers that I will not get into. But still, films like this one are a reminder that women can be big sports fans. My feelings on the NFL started changing years before coming out as transgender. However, I am still a huge baseball and college basketball fan.
No matter one’s feelings on the NFL, Tom Brady, or the Patriots, 80 for Brady will have audiences rolling in laughter.
DIRECTOR: Kyle Marvin
SCREENWRITERS: Sarah Haskins & Emily Halpern
CAST: Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Sally Field, Tom Brady, Billy Porter, Rob Corddry, Alex Moffat, Guy Fieri, Harry Hamlin, Bob Balaban, Glynn Turman, Sara Gilbert, Jimmy O. Yang, Ron Funches, Matt Lauria
Paramount will release 80 for Brady in theaters on February 3, 2023. Grade: 3.5/5
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