We are all accustomed to hearing that age is just a number. But does society really live up to that statement? I mean, do we really accept older people into the normal stream of life? Patriarchy allows only the upper-class, young, virile white man to occupy the rest, whereas women, after a certain age, face the sword of double marginalization. The older woman is often seen as the hag-like figure who is supposed to be shut up and kept aside. When they reach the age of being someone’s grandmother, the first thing that we expect out of them is that they have to assume the role of a caregiver. If they don’t conform to that role, they are often tagged as a witch who waits for their next victim to take their bait. The only other way we accept old women is if they are our little fairy godmothers.
Although the women that we see on screen in “80 for Brady” do not follow the acts of a godmother, their screen presence is ethereal—they glide through their roles just like fairies would. The friendship between all four characters breaks another stereotype: that in this competitive world, women cannot really be friends. Their sisterhood is inspiring; throughout the film, you would keep on wishing to have such exciting and interesting friends to grow old with! If you are looking for a mid-week break and the world hasn’t been very kind to you lately, “80 for Brady” is a film that you can watch and temporarily forget about all your misery. This film tries to break the stereotype that women are not fond of watching sports. Even today, we hear and get entertained by those sexist jokes about the husband and wife fighting over a television remote, trying to control whether they should watch the game or not.
The film is based on a true story about four diehard octogenarian fans of NFL star Tom Brady who want to watch him play live at the Super Bowl for one last time in 2017. The film begins in the living room of a suburban home where four ladies are preparing themselves to watch a game that would push the NFL franchise Patriots to the Super Bowl. The energy of these ladies is infectious. But like many other sports fans, they are superstitious too. They have a specific routine where one of them would accidentally flip a bowl of chips, Betty would be on a ladder pretending to fix a bulb, Maura would be on the couch in front of the television set sipping her tea, and Trish would be sitting at the dining table reading her magazine. This was the exact circumstance they had found themselves in during the kickoff of one particular season in which Tom Brady was extremely successful, and since then, it has become their match protocol.
The ladies decide they want to catch the Super Bowl live one last time before Tom Brady retires. They spot a contest that will be giving out free Super Bowl tickets to four lucky winners who will have a great story about themselves to share. It so happens that their story is magically the one that gets picked. They fly down to Houston, Texas, to indulge in the full NFL experience. Tom Brady is an inspiration for these ladies. Almost sixteen years ago, when Lou was undergoing chemotherapy, the four ladies gathered to be together in these tough times. The television had gotten stuck on a sports channel, and they had spotted a then-lesser-known rookie player, Tom Brady, get called off from the bench. That skinny boy’s fight to prove himself had become Lou’s strength to fight cancer. Gradually, Tom Brady became their favorite, and they formed an unbreakable bond with his persona. This is a performance-driven film. The cast consists of names that have been combinedly and entertaining us for two centuries, with numerous Oscars, Tonys, and Emmys etched into their names. This unapologetic comedy has been directed by Kyle Marvin and is written by the writers of “Booksmart,” Emily Halpern, and Sarah Haskins. This film feels like a warm hug to your soul, mainly because of the endearing characters and excellent performances by the cast. Here is a detailed description of important characters and the members of the cast who play those characters:
Lily Tomlin As Lou
It was 16 years ago when Louella’s cancer brought her friends together. She made them love American football and, in turn, made them fans of Tom Brady. She is eighty years old and full of life. So, when the Patriots and Falcons make it to the 2017 Super Bowl, she wants to be there with her friends to catch Tom Brady playing at least once before he retires. Around 2017 Tom Brady was approaching 40 years old, and Lou cracked an ironic joke that it is equivalent to 80 in people’s years. She wants this girls’ trip to be extra special because she went through some tests at the hospital, fearing that her cancer had relapsed. She was too afraid to open the envelope containing the test results. She was too afraid to know if she was sick again. Incidentally, like a fairy tale twist, she becomes Tom Brady’s inspiration for winning that Super Bowl.
Lily Tomlin as Lou is a bundle of joy. She is lovable and energetic and shares amazing chemistry with her “Will and Frankie” co-star Jane Fonda and the other women, Sally Field and Rita Moreno. Lily Tomlin is best known for her roles in “Nashville,” “All of Me,” “9 to 5”, and “Grandma.”
Jane Fonda As Trish
Trish is probably the most thinly written role, but Jane Fonda’s performance makes it memorable. Trish wears her heart on her sleeves. She keeps reinventing her career over and over again. She used to be a model for a car dealership, but when she realized that she was getting too old for her job, she began writing erotica, which coincidentally involved football players and football stadiums. The only problem with her is that she falls in love too quickly. At the beginning of the film, we find her going gaga over a gentleman she met only a week ago. Obviously, things don’t work out with him. She meets an NFL veteran in Texas, and they finally hit off a romance that is perfectly in tune.
With two Oscars in her kitty, Jane Fonda adds life and vanity to the role of Patricia Ledoux. She is best known for her performances in films like “Coming Home,” “Barbella,” “Monster in Law,” “Klute,” and “Youth.”
Sally Field As Betty
Betty is an ex-professor of mathematics at MIT. She has spent her entire life supporting her husband’s career. For the first time during her girls’ trip, she has the confidence to stand up to her husband and tell him that she would not choose between his research papers and the game because the name on them would be his, and she would not be getting enough credit for it. She is on point with all her statistical calculations, which allow Tom Brady’s team, the Patriots, to win the Super Bowl. It must be added that she is very cute and very convincingly calls her fanny pack a strap-on. She might be your favorite character in the scenes where she is intoxicated on drugged gummy bears, and the way she sports a jersey that has crossed the 80 in ’80 for Brady’ indicates she is in her early seventies. She does this not out of vanity but because of her knack for mathematical precision.
Sally Field is a well-known American actress. She is well known for her roles in films like “Forrest Gump,” “Lincoln,” and “Steel Magnolias.”
Rita Moreno As Maura
Maura is the fourth member of this little girls’ club. She has a home but stays in a retirement center because her husband loved that place. She is still mourning her husband, who passed about a year ago. There is a very interesting and exciting portion in the film where Maura’s friends Lou, Betty, and Trish very smartly break out a seeping Maura from her room at the retirement center. Maura shines in her individual scenes, especially the ones where she plays poker after being high on drugs. She has excellent luck and skill when betting and playing poker.
Besides having an Oscar in her name, Rita Moreno is an EGOT, that is, the winner of all major American entertainment awards. She has appeared in both the 1961 and 2021 versions of “West Side Story.” Her other notable works include TV shows like “The Muppet Show,” “The Rockford Files,” and “Oz.”
This heartwarming film, with unbelievable things happening all across the screen, is etched with special appearances and cameos, including the one from Tom Brady, which is very earnest and makes you forget for a while that he is a Trump supporter. The film also features Guy Fieri as himself and Billy Porter as Lady Gaga’s choreographer Gugu. If I were to sum up the film in a phrase, I would call it “good fun.” So, sit back, relax, and take this therapy; it might help you flush out all the sexist and ageist thoughts that you have been harboring in your head. “80 for Brady” will be streaming on Peacock soon.