It’s never too late to hit the road.
Set in 2017, 80 for Brady tells the story of Lou (Lily Tomlin), a cancer survivor who has bonded with her friends Trish, Betty and Maura (Jane Fonda, Sally Field and Rita Moreno) over the New England Patriots and, more specifically, their love for quarterback Tom Brady. When Brady marches his team to Super Bowl LI, the four women decide to throw caution to the wind. Having won tickets to the Big Game, they hop on a plane and fly to Houston to live their dream. But, along the way, they discover that Lou may not have been fully honest with them and they learn why this trip means even more than they could have imagined.
Directed by Kyle Marvin, 80 for Brady is a goofy and energetic film that is so adorable that one cannot help but be won over by its charms. (And, full disclosure, I’m a Bills fan. So, Brady had its work cut out winning me over.) In recent years, we’ve seen a number of “one last adventure“ films. Films like Last Vegas and Going in Style have featured elderly characters who are looking for one last shot at glory but often tell stories of men. Admittedly, because of this, a tale of four elderly women taking a road trip to the Super Bowl feels a little bit special. Although television is often willing to give us tales about older women, rarely do we see something like this on the big screen.
And, without a doubt, 80 for Brady is fueled by such joy that one cannot help but have their hearts warmed by it.
Hot wings contests, laced gummies, football triumphs and illegal gambling make the march towards the end zone for these elderly fans seem zanier than one might expect but all four women are game ready. Though each actress continues to be incredibly active in their careers, one has to be amazed at the energy and enthusiasm that they put into these roles. Fonda, Tomlin and Field are absolutely delightful together and each has their moment to shine. Even so, the best performance may come from Moreno who, at the age of 91, has seen a career comeback in recent years. In 80 for Brady, Moreno has ample time to show off her fun side, whether its gambling at a high stakes poker game or showing her moves as a Super Bowl cheerleader.
As with so many of other examples of this type of films, Brady is a story about friendship and finding life, no matter your age. As Trish, Betty, Maura and Lou step up to each challenge, those around them continue to be amazed at their fire and ability to have a ball. Over and over again, they prove that they are not to be taken lightly simply because of their age.
However, more than this, Brady is also a film about fighting for the next chapter of our lives. Taking inspiration from Brady’s ‘never give up’ attitude, each woman is reminded that they still have much to live for. From health problems to marriage issues, their love of their on-field hero serves as inspiration to never stop trying, even when the odds are stacked against them.
Admittedly, this is not a film with any great plot twists or shocking revelations. As a viewer, one can probably guess where the film is going from the moment that it begins. However, similar to the road trip that these ladies embark upon together, 80 for Brady reminds us that there is joy in the journey, not just the destination. Yes, the film is ridiculously silly but it’s also ridiculously sweet. Sometimes, it’s refreshing to take the easy win and, without question, 80 for Brady connects in the end zone.
80 for Brady is available in theatres on Friday, February 3rd, 2023.