Tom Brady may have seven Super Bowl rings, but that’s nothing compared to the most winning group of legends ever assembled. Take a look at the statistics: first, Jane Fonda, with two Oscars, seven Golden Globes and two Tony nominations to his name. Next, Lily Tomlinwith six Emmys, two Tonys and a Grammy, and Sally Field, winning two Oscars, three Emmys and two Golden Globes. Rounding out the team is EGOT herself, Rita Moreno. Count them: Oscar, Grammy, Tony and two Emmys, plus a Golden Globe for good luck. This fearsome foursome star in “80 for Brady,” a story about a group of octogenarian football fans and a wild weekend at the 2017 Super Bowl.
Based on trailers and commercials for ’80 for Brady,’ featuring these iconic actresses dressed in dazzling New England Patriots jerseys and an extremely offensive blonde wig on Jane Fonda, the outlook looked dire. for this sassy football comedy. It’s a relief to report that “80s for Brady” has a case of a “bad trailer” and the resulting film is funnier and more charming than expected.
Writing duo Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins (“Booksmart,” “Trophy Wife”) penned the screenplay, while actor-producer Kyle Marvin (“The Climb,” “WeCrashed”) makes his debut as director. Based on a unique cast of true Tom Brady superfans, “80 for Brady” lands where “Book Club” and “Fever Pitch” meet.
Tomlin’s character Lou is the heart of the film, the biggest superfan of them all, enforcing the group’s superstitions and encouraging them to enter a contest for free tickets. Around her flutters Trish (Fonda), a former “Mayflower Girl” who falls in love easily and often; the recently widowed and grieving Maura (Moreno); and Betty (Field), a sharp MIT math professor who likes to remind them all that she’s 70, not 80. When the girls get lucky with tickets, they travel to Houston to watch the Super Bowl in person.
Oscar-winner John Toll’s cinematography is usable at best, and visually there’s not much to notice other than Fonda’s rotating wig wardrobe, which is explained, although that doesn’t make them no less ostentatious. Her look suits Dolly Parton, who collaborated on a song for the film, making it a true “9 to 5” reunion.
The comedy isn’t necessarily groundbreaking and the story beats are almost painfully predictable, but the picture holds thanks to this group of captions and the script’s loose, nonsensical humor. Marvin has wisely stacked the supporting cast with comedians and celebrities to keep things fresh and fun for this quartet to bounce back, and Alex Moffat and Rob Corddry maintain a steady beat of Boston-tinged banter as a pair of commentators on the Patriots who keep us non-footballers follow the action.
Naturally, there are several cameos from former Patriots themselves, including Brady, who makes his way, though not impressively, through a third-act speech. He’s at least up for the big jinks at hand, and as the film’s producer, it’s the kind of project that follows in the footsteps of LeBron James’ forays into Hollywood, producing and starring himself. in the “Space Jam” and “House Party”. » redone. Of course, the Tom Brady of 2022 is decidedly not the Tom Brady of 2017, so for football fans it might be hard to watch the film without reflecting their current view on him.
But the real picture MVP is Sally Field, who feels the most natural and gets the most hilarious moments. Tomlin grapples with pathos, Founds romantic drama, while Field’s Betty, freed from her crazy, needy teacher husband (Bob Balaban), enters a hot wing-eating contest, gets high on edibles and tries to flirt for the first time. It’s his liberating journey that goes the extra mile for “80 for Brady,” helping him come back from a goofy trailer to score a touchdown.
Katie Walsh is a film critic at the Tribune News Service.
’80 for Brady’
Note : PG-13, for brief foul language, drug content and suggestive references
Operating time: 1 hour 38 minutes
Playing: Starts February 3 in general release