The Reel Review
When four octogenarian best friends – all New England Patriots superfans – score some tickets to the 2017 Super Bowl, they get to live out their dream of seeing their beloved NFL quarterback Tom Brady play in person. This feel-good sports comedy is inspired by the true story of a group of superfans in Massachusetts.
Is 80 for Brady corny? Absolutely. Is it sugary sweet? Without a doubt. The four legends – Lily Tomlin as a superstitious cancer survivor, Jane Fonda as an ever-flirtatious erotic book author, Sally Field as a mathematician and hot wings aficionado and Rita Moreno as a gambling-loving, recent widow – really sell this winsome crowd pleaser, which features a fun soundtrack, actual footage from that thrilling 2017 Super Bowl game, and a supporting cast that includes Harry Hamlin, Guy Fieri, Billy Porter and Tom Brady himself.
The secret to this surprisingly charming comedy that far exceeds its predictably silly trailer is the winsome screenplay about enduring friendship from Booksmart writers Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern, along with the performances from the four acting legends. 80 for Brady has a tremendous amount of heart, tackling the indignities of ageism with good natured humor and loads of charm.
• This actual “Over 80 for Brady” group – Elaine St. Martin, Betty Pensavalle and their friends Anita Riccio, Pat Marx and Claire Boardman – formed after the deaths of their husbands as a fun celebration. The fan club is now down to just Betty and Elaine, since Claire has since died and Anita and Pat now live in assisted-living facilities.
• Nicknamed “28-3,” the 2017 Super Bowl featured the biggest comeback in NFL history, with the Patriots scoring 25 unanswered points in the second half, and a touchdown in the first Super Bowl overtime, to win 34-28.
• Dolly Parton sings the song in the closing credits, making this a reunion of sorts with her co-stars from the 1980 blockbuster comedy 9 to 5.
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