Monday With Mildred: “80 for Brady”

80 for Brady movie poster

80 for Brady

Let me just begin with the disclaimer that I do not like Tom Brady. I am not a fan, and I do not think he is the Greatest Of All Time quarterback. If that colors your perspective of this review, then so be it.

Four eldery friends do think that Tom is the G.O.A.T. and they have been watching avidly as huge fans since the day they accidentally tuned into a Patriots game and established the good luck traditions they avidly follow every season. Sally Fields, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Rita Moreno all play women in their 80s. They’ve been friends forever and their lives are closely entwined. They hatch up a plan to go to the Super Bowl to see their favorite G.O.A.T. Hijinks ensue.

These four actresses really are very old. They’ve been in the business since the 1960s, and unfortunately it shows. They’re barely mobile, and that includes their faces. Most of the scenes are kinda flat, reminiscent of a stage play, with a locked in camera filming the ladies in a stationary position. It’s like watching a 1930s movie, or a stage play. I totally get this, considering how barely mobile these women are, so that didn’t bother me much. It took a while to get used to, but it worked because I understood the underlying need.

This immobility causes the screenwriters to have to work very hard to put the ladies in highly comedic situations that needs little to no movement. Sometimes this also means giving a dramatic dialogue that is supposed to be super tearjerking without movement. That didn’t work so much but most of the time the comedy had us smiling or laughing out loud. This is down to about two hundred years of comedic experience between them, and even more from the many, many cameo actors.

The story as a whole is pretty predictable. Since I expected nothing special that also was fine with me. This was a movie about showcasing some very elderly and famous actresses in a ridiculous situation so I wasn’t expecting anything revolutionary or even surprising. Something else that didn’t surprise me was Tom Brady.

Of all the football players who meddle in the dramatic arts, his is by far the poorest showing. He is not funny. He shows no emotional depth. His face is as immobile as the ancient actresses he has employed to film a story about how completely in love with him they are. You will not be surprised to discover that he is the executive producer of the movie. Nuff said.

I can’t decide if it’s irritating or a symptom of her age, but I will say it’s irksome to see Lily Tomlin STILL playing straight. It’s okay to have a crush on a guy if you’re gay. It’s happened to me a time or two (Jason Statham) so what’s the big deal. Get with the times, I say.

The thing that impressed me most was the quality and quantity of Hollywood talent that leant themselves to either on screen cameos or musical accompaniment. It’s fun picking out somewhat major people with small roles, like Billy Porter or Patton Oswald, and wondering who some of the people are that you may not recognize. The end credits song, Gonna Be You, is obviously Dolly Parton but on further checking also includes Belinda Carlisle and Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Estefan and Debbie Harry. You can’t get more multi-talented than that.

As a Hollywood love note to some storied actresses, this is not a bad film. They’ve done a lot of work over the decades and they deserve the love. Tom Brady not so much. If you don’t mind a breezy, star studded paean with little energy and an unsurprising storyline, you will enjoy this movie. We laughed a few times, and it was fun overall.  Check it out if you’re in the mood for something utterly unchallenging.


CFR: In Addition:

LOLOL!!! I love Mildred. Seriously she rocks as you all well know.

Now I watched the movie and enjoyed it. It is what I expected and I enjoyed the ride. Plus I’m glad our actresses got to have fun and star in big roles.

Now I did get very worked up about the tickets – which is me, ok – but once everything worked out I loved it again. I can see me and my buddies doing something like this – wait – we’ve done similar things like this and it is fun! I loved watching the four leads flirt and talk and work their way through the movie and thus life. They did not follow rules about being old and hidden and I liked that.

This movie is based on a true story and the real ladies were not as glamourous as the movie women. Soon older people in movies, especially women, won’t have to look younger or hot. 🙂

For me this movie was a light fun romp and I’m glad it was made. Now to check out the Book Club….

Oh and yes, please Lily be a lesbian on screen too!!!!!! We love ya’.

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