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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 14, 2023



‘80 FOR BRADY’ is a sports comedy based on the true life story of four old ladies who happen to best friends and all fans of football star Tom Brady. 

We had fun watching it as it stars four seasoned Hollywood actresses. 

Three of them are Oscar winners: Jane Fonda (best actress for “Klute” in 1971 and “Coming Home” in 1978), Sally Field (best actress for “Norma Rae” in 1979 and “Places in the Heart” in 1984) and Rita Moreno (best supporting actress for the first “West Side Story” in 1961 and a certified EGOT winner - Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). 

The fourth one is comedian Lily Tomlin, who was nominated as Oscar best supporting actress in her first movie, “Nashville”, in 1975, but didn’t win. 

But she has won 7 Emmy Awards, 2 Tony Awards and 1 Grammy.  Rita is the eldest of the four at 91  years old with a career than spans 7 decades, Jane is next at 85, Lily at 83 and the youngest is Sally at 76.   

The heartwarming film is set in 2017. Lou (Lily), Trish (Jane), Maura (Rita) and Betty (Sally) are the best of friends. 

They are ardent fans of Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots football team. They’ve been supporting his career since 2001 when they celebrated Lou’s healing after having chemotherapy. 

Each year, they have a viewing party and watch the Super Bowl together. They are jubilant when the Patriots won over the Pittsburgh team. 

Lou said they should all fly to Houston to watch the Super Bowl championship game in person. 

But the other girls are not keen as it will be very expensive, including their plane ticket and hotel accommodations. It so happened that a sports radio station holds a contest for Patriot fans and all they have to do is share their stories as supporters of the team. 

The winners will get free tickets. Lou joins the contest and wins free tickets for all of them. And so their adventure as four elderly ladies start and anything and everything that can go wrong does.

These actresses are icons in their own right with proven acting chops. 

And they do make the most of their respective roles and the movie itself. Laughs are plentiful, making this a real feel good movie. 

Lou just had another check up in the hospital but she is afraid to look at the results for fear her Big C might have come back. She planned their trip as some sort of a last hurrah in case her health issues have returned.  

Trish is the most well preserved among them, with Jane Fonda sporting a very clear face without any wrinkle at all and admits she spent a fortune for it. 

She writes romance novels, and falls in love easily, but her relationships are always short-lived, so she doesn’t want to fall in love again.

Maura has just been widowed and now stays in a nursing home.  

Betty is the only one who’s still married. She’s a retired professor with a needy husband (Bob Balaban) who always clings to her for making decisions about his own career. 

She’s looking forward to the weekend trip with her friends to get a reprieve from her pesky husband.

While in Houston, they have their own misadventures. 

Betty joins an eating contest where she eats the spiciest chicken wings, with her besting out all  her male rivals. But she loses her bag that contains their Super Bowl tickets.

Trish finds new romance with a former football star, Dan O’Callahan (Harry Hamlin), but she’s very cautious because of her unsuccessful love life. 

Maura is asked to join a game of poker and she wins. 

But her winnings are for charity so she gives it to her opponent, Gugu (Billy Porter of the hit series, “Pose”).

More complications follow. Betty recovers the tickets but they turn out to be fake, so the security guard won’t let them in. 

It’s good Maura sees Gugu, who turns out to be a choreographer in the Super Bowl and he takes them in after showing the guards that they really know how to dance.

From here on, it seems that fate starts to favor them. 

The Patriots are losing but Lou gives Tom Brady an inspirational talk and the team quickly recovers. 

The happy ending is really very inspirational, with Tom Brady now also retired as a football player and having a good talk with the four ladies on a beach, with all of them enjoying their retirement.

The film is all a wonderful fantasy for oldies, offering geriatric girl power specially if you're a fan of the past works of these actresses. 

In its core is the invigorating power of lasting friendship and being positive and optimistic.  

They show a photograph of the real old women on whose lives the movie is based, but you know that all the events that happened are just embellished to give the movie a wholesome screwball comedy feel and make it all a good-natured, pleasantly cinematic fantasy in warming the viewer’s heart. 

Personally, since we are also pushing 80, we are just so happy to see these veteran actresses aging gracefully and still being so active in their careers. 

Young people might find it cringe-worthy, but we’re willing to take all their amiable foibles and cartoonish shenanigans in what might be their last happy bonding as BFF’s.