'80 for Brady' Described as 'Coming-of-Age Story'
Last updated 3/2/2023 at 7:13pm | View PDF
"80 for Brady" offers a twist on the "girls just want to have fun" comedy. The film stars four accomplished actresses, most of whom have celebrated their 80th birthdays: Lily Tomlin as ringleader Lou, Jane Fonda as glam and feisty Trish, Rita Moreno as adventurous Maura, and Sally Field as down-to-earth Betty.
These decades-long best friends have been watching football together for years - complete with their own superstitions, rituals and jerseys. Even so, the ultimate dream of attending the Super Bowl has never seemed within reach, which is more of a concern now that most of them are over 80. So, when tickets unexpectedly come their way, the foursome toss caution to the wind, heading into misadventures no one saw coming, from hot wings to hot guys, from mischief to mayhem – even before Super Bowl LI begins.
"Age really doesn't matter when it comes to these four friends," says producer Donna Gigliotti. "They believe if you have the will, you can do anything. If you want to go the Super Bowl for the first time in your life at 80, do all kinds of crazy stuff you've never done, even inspire Tom Brady, you can do it."
In a series of dizzying turns, the precious Super Bowl tickets go missing, a fumble that threatens to unravel the whole trip. The women have plenty of reasons to pack it in. Instead, they double down, ready to do whatever it takes - even go outlaw - to not only get into the stadium but ensure Brady plays the same way they've approached this journey: as if nothing has ever mattered more.
"The concept of four female friends trying to wheedle their way into the greatest ever Super Bowl is incredibly fun," says Tomlin. "But even more fun was working with Jane, Rita and Sally. They're all equally sweet, talented, irreverent, and in love with life."
"I wanted to be part of '80 for Brady' because I think we all need to have a good time right now," says Fonda. "People need to laugh and feel optimistic, and this is definitely a feel-good comedy."
"It could be about any group of people but what makes it unique is that when you are our age you are truly ready to do whatever you please, to say exactly what you want, and be who you are, because what do you have to lose?" says Moreno. "These ladies use all their experience and attitude to tackle anything that happens."
"I'm a huge sports fan myself and I think the world underestimates how many older women are," Field says. "Sports are one of the best ways to build camaraderie. And it's that camaraderie that propels these women into a weekend more exciting than anything they had ever conceived of. You have the flat-out fun of four older women friends getting into shenanigans while always having each other's backs."
The movie also features members of the 2017 New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, as well as Guy Fieri, Billy Porter, Glynn Turman, Harry Hamlin and Sara Gilbert.
Naturally, there could be no "80 for Brady" without Brady himself. The global superstar not only stars in the film, he was so stirred by the story he came aboard as a producer.
"This story centers around things I really care about," says Brady. "Football aside, it's about relationships, overcoming adversity, and having the resiliency and imagination to make things happen in your life. These ladies embody that as much as any athlete.
"80 for Brady" started with an imagination-sparking snapshot from a local Boston newspaper. The photo captured five beaming older women (Claire Boardman, Elaine St. Martin, Anita Riccio, Elizabeth "Betty" Pensavalle and Pat Marx) sporting homemade "80 for Brady" jerseys, ecstatic at having watched their beloved Tom Brady and the New England Patriots triumph at Super Bowl LI - and witnessing one of the most impossible comebacks in all sports history.
Screenwriting duo Sarah Haskins & Emily Halpern took that photo and ran with it. The idea was to create a journey that would be as joyous and moving for those who follow football fervidly... as for those who wouldn't know a scramble from a sack. Starting with the foundation of lifelong friends each in need of a boost, they balanced no-holds-barred comedy against a portrait of women uniting to accomplish the implausible.
"We realized '80 for Brady' is actually a coming-of-age story - it's just a different age than usual," says executive producer Mike Covino. "This kind of comedy typically might have teens or young adults going trying to get somewhere impossible. Lou, Trish, Maura and Betty might not be just starting out in their lives, but that doesn't mean they've stopped growing."