Nana Works the End Zone

’80 For Brady’ would be better without all the football–and also if you’re stoned

Broads of a certain age agree: 80 For Brady works best when you’re stoned for the second act. Boomer bitches are primed for comedy, sex, and brio— leave the condescension at the door.

80 FOR BRADY ★★★ (3/5 stars)
Directed by: Kyle Marvin
Written by: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins
Starring: Sally Field, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno
Running time: 98 min

There’s more than a few charismatic amusements when actors like Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno, and Sally Fields take over a room — even if Tom Brady and his NFL hacks do their best to step on every punchline.

Seriously, I’ve never seen a director cut away from so many perfect set-ups, just as the audience started to crack up. Couldn’t they find an old hand from Cheers, or Maude? This was classic sit-com fun, written by the women who did Booksmart. (A film old ladies love).

A winning director’s cut of 80 for Brady would remove ALL the football. The helmsman himself, Kyle Marvin, says  he wished they’d release a stand-alone reel of Moreno dominating an improvisational  backroom poker tournament. Too bad he didn’t stick up for his better instincts on the feature.

How perfect is it? — that Kill-Joy Brady, the human strap-on, announced his final, no really, his final retirement on the eve of his film debut? Every time TB’s gaunt wooden face appeared on screen, it was time for another audience bathroom break to restock our gummie supply.

I gaily interviewed the audience of the ’80’ matinée—all AARP-eligible women, who arrived piled in cars with old friends ready to Par-TAY.

“Do you watch football?” I asked.


“What do you think of Tom Brady?”

“Who’s that?” yelled one card.

“We’re here for the women!” they said, chanting the iconic names and films they’ve seen a thousand times: Ernestine — “One Ringy Dingy!”  Grace and Frankie! West Side Story! Smokey and the Bandit! (The latter, an underrated women’s film).

Each one voiced their primal scream: “GIDGET!”

And you know what, “Gidget” really does steal the show. Sally Field has the time of her life playing a retired mathematician who’s ready to kick ass and show us everything we missed since Norma Rae. So does Rita Moreno, who works a men’s locker room until every player blushes, and takes over a poker night like she was born to break the house. (Rita also slays with the best Stanley Kubrick joke).

Jane Fonda is bonkers believeable as the Kindle romance author of titles like GRONK EROTICA — and man, Rob Gronkowski’s single three seconds on screen, his one take, made the women in my suburban theater scream. The man has wet panties written all over him.

Every second 80′ ‘wasted our time on Hallmark Card pathos, the audience groaned or snoozed. That was most of the third act. It sorely tamps down Tomlin’s absurdist flavor with stupid scenes where she’s sad about “Cancer.”

Bitch, PLEASE. The only kind of cancer talk old broads want to hear is the darkest satire.

We don’t care about “poor-you” subplots. More Ambien jokes, please. More potty humor of the female variety. We liked the supercilious nursing home director played by Jimmy Yang, better than most of the leading men. In fact, all the stand-up comedians in this show were ready to rip, yet the producers cut their time for the most boring NFL product footage known to man. Not a good trade.

Here’s the deal: “80 for Shady” is what we need. Bring in Eminem. This could be the Best of Saturday Night Live, meets The Worn Out Sluts of the Hot Tub Time Machine.

Why make fun of smokin’ babes’ libidos when you have the cream of the crop? When your most darling star convincingly seduces Matt Lauria in the second act, for god’s sakes, the feverish kiss must PLAY THROUGH. Gidget is our favorite, you morons. We all wanted to wrap ourselves in her arms.

Fonda and Tomlin have another film, Moving On, coming out in March written and directed by a more experienced hand, Paul Weitz. It’s going to do better — it’s not a branding opportunity. And for Valentine’s Day, Steven Soderburgh is delivering Magic Mike 3, with 56-year-old Salma Hayek, heading to third base and beyond with 42-year-old Channing Tatum—the trailer grind footage is scorching. Each picture that pushes the feminine wit and erotic insight  another ten yards, is the one that’s going to win a new generation of clits and hearts.


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Susie Bright

Susie Bright is an author, editor, and critic known for her work at Audible Studios, The New York Times Book Review, Playboy, Jezebel, Salon, On Our Backs, Talking Points Memo, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Review of Books, Esquire, the Criterion Collection, as well as her contribution to The Celluloid Closet, Bound, The Virgin Machine, Transparent, and the Criterion reissue of Belle de Jour.

One thought on “Nana Works the End Zone

  • February 3, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    Great review! I’ll go for the gals but I’m glad I don’t have inflated expectations


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