FILM REVIEW — Football comedy coasts to mild fun

Published 12:04 am Saturday, February 4, 2023

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“80 for Brady”

Paramount Pictures

Directed by Kyle Marvin

Starring Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno, Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Tom Brady

Rated PG-13

2 ½ Stars

Those of you looking for something to fill the NFL void this fallow weekend before the Super Bowl, there’s a new movie hitting theaters that offers plenty of pro football warm and fuzzy vibes.

“80 for Brady” is a fun little romp that features a quartet of iconic actresses having a wee bit of fun during a trip to the Super Bowl. Based on a real story, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Rita Moreno star as a group of friends who bonded by watching the New England Patriots play while one of them was going through chemotherapy.

They became huge fans of Tom Brady, so when the Patriots went to the Super Bowl in 2017, these best friends decided that they needed to go as well.

This is a comedy, so their dream trip doesn’t go smoothly. The unexpected complications force the actresses into a series of predictable but still amusing adventures.

There are never any life-and-death stakes here, just a quartet of friends enjoying a late-in-life romp and enjoying every minute of their time together.

I might have preferred some harder comic situations, but I won’t deny chuckling at the sight of these game grandmas embracing whatever life throws at them.

The secret is that the filmmakers cast such an engaging group of veterans. These ladies have charisma to spare, seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and they certainly know how to tell a joke or convey a warm feeling up on the screen. It’s easy to cheer them on, which makes “80 for Brady” into a delightful little romp.

It’s also easy to cheer for this movie as an NFL promotion.

It’s set in an idealized world of professional football where there aren’t any scandals or medical emergencies, and the NFL players just happen to be salt of the earth guys willing to spend some quality time with this group of super fans.

Tom Brady, in particular, plays a big part in this movie, while several of his teammates also put in good-natured appearances.

“Good Natured” would be the optimum descriptor here, instead of “Genuinely Funny.”

That’s because the filmmakers opt to keep the tone safe so as to not offend their target demographic. Which means we get recycled jokes about drug trips, gastrointestinal issues and misunderstanding of modern terminology.

It’s not exactly cutting-edge stuff.

I suppose that it doesn’t need to be. “80 for Brady” coasts by on the charm of its leading ladies, some mild hijinks and the thrill of a few well-placed cameo appearances by famous athletes and actors.

There’s nothing offensive or controversial here, just some mild chuckles and plenty of granny-power friendship vibes.

That might just be enough to get you through a weekend without any football. Sorry Peyton and Eli, your flag football Pro Bowl game doesn’t count.

Movie reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week by Orange Newsmedia and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at