’80 for Brady’: A championship-caliber friendship flick



Illustration by

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

After legendary quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL last week, “80 for Brady” was released in select theaters on Feb. 3. Director Kyle Marvin, along with Brady as a producer, use the real-life “Over 80 for Brady” fan club as an inspiration for the film, which has gotten waves of media attention since the initial announcement last year.

Focused around a group of older women (Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Rita Moreno and Lily Tomlin) who travel to Super Bowl LI, the four find themselves in a load of child-like high jinks in their quest to find their idol, Brady.

With the ladies’ increasing age, they attempt to make one last-ditch attempt to watch their beloved Patriots. With Lou’s  (Tomlin) worsening illness, the friends use the Super Bowl backdrop to solidify their friendship.

The film has a quick runtime of 98 minutes and gets to the story immediately, so there is no fluff with trying to understand what the premise is. It does a good job of explaining the struggles the women face as they try and go off to the Super Bowl at a fast-paced speed.

Whether it was writing a  Rob Gronkowski fan-fiction, winning a spicy wing-eating contest, accidentally taking edibles or trying to sneak out of a nursing home, the women find themselves in outrageous situations that would rival any stereotypical college weekend.

It’s corny with a number of niche Brady moments (as one would expect from Brady’s own 199 Productions company) but has enough generation-spanning references to get a laugh out of anybody. Cameos from Sally Kirkland, Rob Corddry, Guy Fieri and Julian Edelman allow viewers from any generation to recognize someone on screen.

Each actress had their moments to shine, but both Lou and Betty (Field) can take control of the friend group and seemingly quarterback them back to Earth. While the plot takes a number of twists and turns, the central idea of “it’s not what you do, but who you do it with” stays firm throughout.

Another common thread was the topic of cancer. Lou is dreading her diagnosis after previously going through chemotherapy and uses Brady and the Patriots as an escape. It contrasts against the light-hearted comedy that is seen throughout the film. Because of Brady’s mother’s cancer diagnosis during the Super Bowl in real life, it draws some emotions from all of the parties involved.

Sure, logic is loosely employed in the film, and a lot of seemingly magical moments happen in an instant, but it is all fun. A silly movie that combines some of Hollywood’s biggest names with football’s biggest talent is something people need to watch. The plot may be whimsical, but for a buddy film that also intertwines the theme of age, it is a charming watch.

Would I have enjoyed it as much if it was focused on another quarterback and another NFL franchise? Likely not as much, but the nostalgic Patriots clips and mocking of the Boston sports media footage consistently brought a big smile to my face. Clips of a real sporting event played in the backdrop to the ladies’ journey, something most sports movies don’t include.

You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy it (though it may help) and I think that it is well worth the watch, despite how much outlandish mayhem is present.