Surprisingly gr80! (Okay, I’ll see myself out now, haha). No, seriously, 80 for Brady is way better than it had any right to be. That’s not to say I expected it to be bad–quite the contrary–I expected it to be cute and mildly entertaining. But in a twist (much like the showdown in the movie), it delivered a terrific, highly entertaining story with heart in the vein of 9 to 5 and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. One could even liken it to a feature length episode of The Golden Girls. And you know what? It’s inspired by a true story!
Four best friends live life to the fullest when they embark on a wild trip to see their hero, Tom Brady, play in the 2017 Super Bowl.
In a cinematic landscape of bloated, poorly paced, or intentionally pretentious films, 80 for Brady is a refreshing respite from the proliferation of 2.5+ hour pictures that so often forget simple plot, complex characters. The plot for 80 for Brady is simple, but the cast makes this one that will earn rewatches for years to come. While there is much to praise, the movie is not without its diegetic shortcomings. Where the movie could have been stronger is in the stakes and crises. The stakes and never quite high enough, despite some heavy material or consequences being hinted at, and the crises are never hopeless enough. There should always be that moment or two in which it looks as if the central characters are going to lose or the movie depicts them going to extraordinary or painstaking lengths to achieve the goal. In other words, the fabulous ensemble cast of characters needed greater opposition between them and their goal.
At the screening I attended, there was an audience member that was over 100 years old and she and her friends from the retirement home just had to see this movie! In fact, they are Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski fangirls. Many of them has not been to a movie theatre in decades. But this movie inspired them to enjoy the cinematic experience once again.
Ryan teaches Film Studies and Screenwriting at the University of Tampa and is a member of the Critics Association of Central Florida and Indie Film Critics of America. If you like this article, check out the others and FOLLOW this blog! Interested in Ryan making a guest appearance on your podcast or contributing to your website? Send him a DM on Twitter. If you’re ever in Tampa or Orlando, feel free to catch a movie with him.