Six years ago this week, football crafted a story so unlikely that it felt scripted to the point of movie magic in real life.

An column on the evening of the game predicted what was to come:

Everything about tonight’s incredible, dramatic Super Bowl that saw the New England Patriots rally back from 19 points down to win 34-28 in the first overtime championship game in NFL history begs to be turned into cinema.

Rather than focusing entirely on the game itself as the column went on to pitch, a more eclectic story of friendship over mutual love and admiration for a star quarterback became the centerpiece to memorialize a historic NFL moment on the big screen while appealing to a much older audience.

Produced by the titular signal caller Tom Brady and featuring the directorial debut of Kyle Marvin, 80 For Brady is inspired very loosely by the true story of four octogenarian women who have the adventure of their lifetimes making their way to Houston to see their hero play in Super Bowl LI.

The light-hearted comedy – reminiscent of 2018’s Book Club – stars four of Hollywood’s most iconic leading ladies: Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field. The exceptional, natural chemistry between the group elevates an otherwise lacking screenplay from Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins for a breezy 90-minutes’ worth of chuckles and the original outright laugh.

Each of the four women has individual moments to shine with miniature character arcs, Tomlin as the recovering cancer survivor Lou, Fonda as the flirtatious fan-fiction author Trish, Moreno as the fun-loving widow Maura and Field as statistics nerd and former MIT professor Betty. Moreno clearly has the most fun on her own, dominating a scene where Maura holds her own at a high-stakes poker table while hallucinating that she’s celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

But it’s in the scenes where the legends are in tandem that 80 For Brady really hits its limited stride, clearing out the narrative and allowing the four to banter naturally in the most charming of ways.

Brady himself makes several cameo appearances in the film, both in the fictionalized narrative and in footage from the Super Bowl itself. While his acting may be a tad stiff at times, there is a solid connection between the football star and Tomlin’s Lou that works particularly well.

With a first-time director at the helm, 80 For Brady has its significant flaws from a technical perspective. The editing is somewhat disjointed to the point that occasionally the punchlines don’t land with the umph that they otherwise might and once the Super Bowl kicks off in the film, Marvin struggles to balance the on-field and in the stands scenes.

The work-around of having comedian Rob Corddry and Saturday Night Live alum Alex Moffat essentially narrate the story of the game itself as Patriots fans hosting a video podcast feels especially forced in order to cover the inexperience of a director who cannot blend the fictional narrative with real-life footage properly to maximize the tension and thrill of the Pats’ comeback story.

But for as much as 80 For Brady presents itself as a sports comedy, at its core, this is a film about friendship and about pursuing dreams at any age. Older audiences will especially enjoy seeing four legendary actresses showing their comedic chops and should take the opportunity to seek this film out in theaters.

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