80 for Brady
So-so superfan comedy scores on age representation.
80 for Brady
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 80 for Brady is a sports-themed comedy produced by and featuring NFL quarterback Tom Brady and written by the women behind Booksmart. Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field star as four friends going to the Super Bowl. On one level, it's a silly film intended to help bridge the gap between male sports fans and "football widows." But it also counters stereotypes by centering four women over 70 and portraying them as three-dimensional people who are living fulfilling lives. While the story is primarily about the power of female friendship, romantic storylines are part of the women's lives (one is married, one widowed, one single with an adult child, and one lovelorn), and they're depicted as being attractive/sexually appealing. There's some suggestive humor -- e.g., a fanny pack is naively referred to as a "strap on" -- but nothing gets too bawdy. Wine, champagne, and beer can be spotted, but no one is actually shown drinking. That said, the women do accidentally eat pot gummies at a fancy party, and fun/funny hallucinogenic hijinks ensue, casting cannabis use in a positive light. Expect a few instances of strong language ("s--t," "son of a bitch," one use of "f--kin'" for emphasis, etc.). One character is a cancer survivor, and that figures into the plot.
Despite what Other Reviewers Said is Not suitable for Pre-Teens!
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Fun movie with deeper messages
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What's the Story?
Lou (Lily Tomlin), Maura (Rita Moreno), Trish (Jane Fonda), and Betty (Sally Field) are best friends who've never missed a Patriots game since Tom Brady's debut in 2001. When the Patriots head to Super Bowl LI, the women do whatever it takes to get to the game to cheer on their favorite quarterback, calling themselves 80 FOR BRADY.
Is It Any Good?
There's a lot to be celebrated in this fun comedy. Even though it's not nearly as rollicking as writers Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins' previous effort, Booksmart, it positively depicts women over 70 as adventurous, gutsy, attractive, and necessary, which is all too rare in mainstream Hollywood cinema. Inspired by a newspaper photo of four women wearing "80 for Brady" sweatshirts, Halpern and Haskins imagined a story in which the friends go to the Super Bowl to meet "the G.O.A.T." Thanks to the presence of four acting legends who are comedic G.O.A.T.s themselves, the portions that reflect the women's lives, challenges, and friendship are some of the movie's best.
That said, the opening credits make very sure viewers don't miss the fact that Tom Brady is the film's producer, and that actually works against the film. When the women ooh and ahh over how handsome Brady is, and when characters talk about him as if he's a god, it feels obnoxiously self-congratulatory and narcissistic. Similarly, a spicy wings subplot is so adoring of Guy Fieri that it's hard not to wonder whether he paid to be in the film to promote himself. Still, Brady and his best football buddy Rob Gronkowski make their few minutes of on-screen time worth it, and the movie's crowd-pleasing nature makes it a fun watch.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why 80 for Brady is noteworthy for its representation of women over 70 (and 80 and 90!). How do the portrayals here compare to those in other films you've seen? Why is representation important for everyone, including people in underrepresented age groups?
How is quarterback Tom Brady's reputation as a comeback king used as inspiration for Lou? Does it inspire you? Why are perseverance and teamwork important character strengths and life skills?
Does the movie glamorize cannabis use? What message could that send to teens who see the movie?
How does this movie compare to other sports comedies? Why is that often a popular genre?
Tom Brady produced this film, which celebrates him. How does this compare to other "vanity" projects like The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (produced by and starring Nicolas Cage as himself) or Rocketman (the Elton John-produced autobiopic)? Are these movies made to appeal to existing fans or to everyone?
- In theaters: February 3, 2023
- Cast: Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno
- Director: Kyle Marvin
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Friendship
- Character Strengths: Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: brief strong language, some drug content and some suggestive references
- Last updated: March 9, 2023
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Fab older cast turns family drama into fun comedy.
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Bittersweet dramedy approaches death with humor.
Cheers for saucy comedy with multigenerational appeal.
Charming, feel-good flick. Not much kid appeal.
For kids who love sports movies
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