Movie Review TagLily Tomlin. Jane Fonda. Rita Moreno. Sally Field. What could go wrong with these legends coming together on film? A lot, apparently. You need more than star players to win the game– you need a coach who can call the plays, a quarterback who can make the throws and a defensive coordinator who can control the pace. 80 For Brady has none of those things.

While it might seem like a cheap shot to turn a film’s subject matter against it, this geriatric comedy is so lame we had to throw something at it. With the Super Bowl this weekend and Tom Brady’s recent retirement announcement, at least it’s timely. Set during a Super Bowl but playing like a game of tag, 80 For Brady has dreams of echoing other retirement movies (Book Club, June Again), but getting audiences to respond to jokes about dancing grandmas is likely a goal too far.

The story follows four friends who bond over their love of  football legend Tom Brady. The eldest (Tomlin) is the biggest fan of them all, enforcing the group’s rules and encouraging them to enter a contest to win tickets to see him play. She’s joined by her pals Trish (Fonda), a former model who writes about sports; Maura (Moreno), a current widow who talks about death; and Betty (Field), a math teacher who likes to remind them all she’s not in her 80’s.

When the gals catch a break with the tickets, they head to the Big Game in Atlanta, where they get into all sorts of hijinks that range from dances to contests, hot wings to pep talks. The score plays over these events, and real players (Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski) make an appearance, along with the titular quarterback himself. While Lou (Tomlin) rallies her troops, Brady rallies his team back from a 25 point deficit.

The game is one for the ages, but the same can’t be said for the ageist gags that make up most of the runtime. It seems the movie is going to be all riffs about cancer and fanny packs and dances on social media, until these ladies are finally allowed to talk about something else for a change. You can’t watch these actresses make jokes about their past and not think of the serious roles that made them stars in the 60’s and 70’s. There are shades of that here, but their work has been sanded down for a wider audience.

For the writing team that made a statement with 2018’s Booksmart (a truly great high-school comedy), it’s odd that 80 For Brady is written so anonymously by Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern. They do a serviceable job keeping the story on track, with a few inspired moments along the way, but overall this doesn’t bear any of the traits that made their past work so special. 80 For Brady expresses a kind of loose, tossed-off quality that serves as a momentary balm for some in the crowd, but in the end, it’s not enough to get these ladies across the finish line–or in the end zone.















































































































































































































































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