When the hosts of a post-game TV show offer up four tickets to the next Super Bowl as a prize, the women decide to enter it, but realize they have a slim chance of winning.
That's the premise of 80 for Brady, but the movie isn't really about football. It's about the friendship between these women, each of whom has a distinct personality that we get to know and love within the first half hour of the movie. Trish (Jane Fonda) is a successful romance novelist, but she feels lonely without a man. Lou (Lily Tomlin) is a single mother who has successfully battled cancer and now wants to have an adventure, just in case the cancer returns. Maura (Rita Moreno) is a widow who lives in a care facility, even though she doesn't need to, but stays because it's where her husband died. Betty (Sally Field) is the most highly educated, and the youngest. She's happily married, but she's full of life and wants to break out of the doldrums of helping her comparatively elderly husband with his work -- just for a weekend with the girls. All four actresses are believable and extremely likable in their roles.
Written by Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, the script delivers numerous laugh-out-loud moments. The women get into plenty of hijinks the day before the Super Bowl at a place called The NFL Experience. From responsible Betty getting involved in a hot sauce eating contest, where she misplaces the tickets she was given to hold, to Maura entering a poker game at a lavish party in order to get the money to buy new tickets, to Trish meeting a former professional football player with two Super Bowl rings, the laughs are mixed with poignancy as the women support each other, no matter what goes wrong -- and plenty does.
Tom Brady does a great job playing himself, especially in a sweet scene where he sits down with Lou and jokes with her about swapping jerseys.
One particularly funny scene is when Betty gets hit on by a much younger man. Although all the women were perfectly cast, Sally Field stands out as the youngest and spunkiest of the bunch. Also, be prepared for a lot of cameos -- and not just by famous football players.
80 for Brady is 98 minutes filled with fun, hilarious antics and warmth. It's a feel-good movie, one that has you leaving the theater with a smile on your face. ~Alexandra Heilbron
5 out of 5 stars.
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