Football Fun At Any Age

17th Dallas International Film Festival

By Daniel Rrobert Durrett


Football is in my blood, and yes, I mean American football though I do love Soccer. But as a Texan FOOTBALL is king. Both my father and grandfather played in college, and I am quite a stickler when it comes to Football films.

Rudy and Brian’s Song are for crying in front of your girlfriend for a guaranteed, But Unnecessary Roughness and The Program exist to enthuse the youthful male, and Draft Day for a more thoughtful look at the NFL, 80 For Brady connects all the levels of a Football film.

 The film comes down to the elements of story and action, and 80 For Brady delivers the full field of football, character antics, and fun! There is no real way to lose with such iconic casting.

 This story follows four friends who decide to go to Superbowl 51 as a swan song adventure. These Super Friends are portrayed by the iconic Sally Field (Smokey and the Bandit, Forrest Gump), Jane Fonda (Barbarella, Monster-In-Law), Rita Moreno (West Side Story, Lopez Vs Lopez), and Lily Tomlin (9 to 5, Spider-Man Into the Spider-verse)

Field shines as a shy introverted mathematician, Fonda the local celebrity from Boston’s yesterdays, Moreno the brains behind her husband’s success, and Tomlin the cancer survivor who is the glue for her group of Brady-supporting football fans.

Tomlin’s character, Lou, buys tickets for her friends claiming they won a local radio contest, and  convinces the Brady bunch to make an adventure of Super Bowl LI, much to the dismay of their families.  They hit the road through a series of unique escape acts just to make it to the airport for the trip to Houston. 

The largest threads of this story are tightly connected to the fans’ experience of the live game of American Football. A Super Bowl as a LIVE experience. Tom Brady assisted as a producer to connect the experience to the story to the game experience.

 Harry Hamlin (Clash of the Titans, Mad Men) plays a connective love interest, who recognizes Fonda’s character from his Patriot playing days when he earned his own Super Bowl win.

Making multiple appearances, Billy Porter­­­ (Pose, Cinderella) interacts with the ladies along their adventurous path and assists Moreno’s character directly as she does his.

Tom Brady and his GOAT Gamers of the 2017 Superbowl team in a tale woven within the storyline of the greatest comeback game of NFL history playoff history. The early flight of the Falcons left the Brady bunch in a world of dismay and disappointment. Leading them to decide they must take matters into their own hands.

A historical tale including footage from the game where Julian Edelman (Ballers) states, “Oh, I caught it!” during the game you see the real-time replay which, as in real life provided the plot of this particular amazing story as the game plays out through these characters of this film.

You get to relive the clutch game-changing catches by Danny Amendola (Historic Texas Tech University Receiver, Ballers), who all have lines in the film with this crew of super fans. In a moment of truth to life many of the offensive stars appear and have lines, true to form Bill Belichick (Patriot’s Head Coach) does not appear as himself in the film other than gametime sideline footage. Leaving the magic of the win “nearly” all on Brady’s incisive.

 The story is so complete that even Fonda’s character’s fan fiction receives its own moment to shine. Even the subject of her erotic Fan Fiction’s subject, Rob Gronkowski (Entourage, Boss Level) can admit to the creator he will not travel without the book bearing his namesake.

 Developed from a real-life group whose love for Tom Brady reached unimagined heights when the writer of this Fan Fiction reached a proclitic online presence. And caught the attention of filmmakers and Writers Emily Halpen and Sarah Haskins the producing and writing team of “Booksmart” and “Blackish”

Flanked nicely with the comedic stylings of Jimmy O Yang (Crazy Rich Asians, Silicon Valley) as an overzealous retirement nurse and Ron Funchess (Trolls, Enlisted) who brought forth a menacing security guard. A portrayal that was reminiscent of GW Bailys’ (M*A*S*H, The Closer) security guard performance in the film “Mannequin”.

The greatest cameo perhaps came from Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, The War with Grandpa) who not only interjected his presence in multiple scenes but shared a likeness to be an integral part of the storyline.

Director Kyle Marvin (We Crashed, Kicks) shows he has not only dramatic chops as a director but also a great handle on the comedic elements in his storytelling.

Many films that deal with a football story rarely include the actual football gameplay to the level that this film delivers. That may be the best portion of the movie for a football fan to want to see this film. Seeing the four icons share the “80 For Brady” screen, is for sure to be what makes this a football film favorite for years to come.

15th Dallas International Film Festival