’80 for Brady’: These movie fans see themselves in the cast

80 for Brady, which opens in theaters Friday, follows four best friends – Lou (Lily Tomlin), Trish (Jane Fonda), Betty (Sally Field) and Maura (Rita Moreno) – on their way to Houston to… Watch quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots play in the 2017 Super Bowl.

And at the early screenings, held here in Dedham, Mass., about 10 miles from the team’s home ground, Gillette Stadium, fans in Patriots gear cheered Brady, wide receiver Julian Edelman and the other stars of this year’s championship game as if they were see it for the first time.

Katie Callahan, 41, of Westwood, Mass., was there in person as the Patriots made an extraordinary comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter after being down 28-3 – “It was wild,” she recalled. “The stadium was silent.” She was happy to relive it through the film as part of a girls’ night out with her friends Phyllis Musto, Sheila Matthews and Brenda Bruno.

Musto vividly recalled watching that 2017 game and partaking in some of the same superstitious behaviors — such as the intricate ritual Lou reenacts to bring good luck to the Pats — in the film. Most notably not letting anyone get up from their seat when the game went into Sudden Death overtime.

From left: Rita Moreno, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Sally Field in 80 For Brady

From left: Rita Moreno, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Sally Field in 80 For Brady.

(Paramount Pictures)

Mary Ellen Horgan, 85, also from Westwood, came to film with her friend Susan Hurley, 80. “I’ve always been a fan of football and the Patriots and have enjoyed everything about it. for years! I’m not talking about recently. It’s my lifelong passion. Go to football games and watch them on TV,” Horgan said.

But the majority of attendees focused less on Brady, who is retiring for the second time this week after a post-Patriots stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and more on the film’s true draw: its quartet of beloved leads.

“The film debunks some of the myths about ‘Oh you old ladies,'” said Edith Siegel Wolfson of Natick, Massachusetts. “Sally Field is the baby at 76. How many films are there where the real stars of the film are women and women of a certain age. These women are still incredibly dynamic in every way. These four women are some of our greatest actresses and they still rock it.”

Siegel Wolfson, in her 60s (“Age is a number and mine doesn’t stand it,” she laughs), attended a screening of the film as part of her birthday party with her two friends, Cindy Adams and Michelle Papazian. “We’ve all been through a lot this year,” Adams said. “And we are here together. Our three 60s for Brady is about doing fun things together and making it a priority. Intentional enjoyment of life and living in the omnipresent now.”

Papazian, who organized the outing, described Siegel Wolfson and Adams as her “soul sisters.” “They taught me to appreciate football, sports and Tom Brady. What really spoke to me about the film is the women’s support and the enduring relationships over time. Moving on, there aren’t that many people you have this history with. We’ve been friends for over 30 years.”

The friendships portrayed in the film also resonated with Horgan. Even after some have moved away from their 55+ year community, she and Hurley still regularly FaceTime with them, for example, “You miss this group. They just want to know what’s going on. It’s just women getting together and enjoying each other’s company. Everyone is always trying to connect.”

From left, Cindy Adams, Michelle Papazian and Edith Siegel Wolfson are seated in lounge chairs.

Sitting from left are Cindy Adams, Michelle Papazian and Edith Siegel Wolfson for a portrait at Siegel Wolfson.

(Sophie Park / For the Times)

Director Kyle Marvin said he tried to capture the real-life relationship of the four stars in the film. “It’s rare to see four women on screen enjoying themselves and having these grown-up, honest conversations with each other that may not historically be valued as much as they should be.”

Hurley, who appreciated the fact that her age is in the title, appreciated that the film now focused on the lives of the four main characters at their current ages. “There aren’t many memories, just recent ones, which is good. You live your life. How many films do they make about 80-year-old women?”

According to Marvin, that was on purpose. “We all get older. It’s a new thing to be in your ’80s and just walk around and do whatever you want,” he said. “People of that age that I have met usually talk about life, not death or the past. … The beauty of what we’re trying to say in this film is that this is a fun time to be alive in your life. Not: ‘It was fun a long time ago.’”

Two scenes particularly impressed moviegoers in Dedham. In one, Betty tells her professor husband (Bob Balaban) that she won’t stop what she is doing to help him with the work he is writing. But there is no big argument between the couple, just an honest conversation. “She said, ‘I love you, but my friendship with these women is something that really sustains me, and I’m not going to sacrifice it,'” Siegel Wolfson said. “There’s something about women’s friendships that is essential to staying who you are through all of life’s other changes.”

Cindy Adams celebrates in front of a Tom Brady poster.

Cindy Adams celebrates in front of a Tom Brady poster.

(Sophie Park / For the Times)

Marvin said he and Field worked closely together on this scene. “It really was Sally. She had such a good gauge of real relationships. Sometimes you forget and get stuck in a rut. “Why am I your support? That doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It’s just that I need a little bit of my own thing.’”

The other happens when Tomlin’s character, Lou Brady – who appears in the film and is a producer – talks about her battle with cancer and how it inspired her at her lowest moments. “If you fight, I’ll fight,” she tells him. Brady’s mother, Galynn Brady, was being treated for cancer during the 2016-17 season and the Super Bowl game was the only one she was able to attend; Actual footage of her hugging her son is in the film. The film ends with Lou and Brady having a heartfelt moment in the dressing room.

“I was in tears at the end when Lily Tomlin talked to him. That was really something special,” said Siegel Wolfson.

“That was pretty authentic,” Adams agreed. “I felt nauseous because it seemed like he was thinking about his mother.”

“He was 100% talking to his mom,” Matthews said.

But for these Brady ladies, a fun, heartwarming time with friends at the movies is just the beginning. For example, Adams wants the film to be shown on a big screen at the Patriots’ home stadium.

“Wouldn’t it be fabulous? I’m telling you, put that in the article!” she said. “The three of us would like to go to Gillette Stadium.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2023-02-03/80-for-brady-fans-older-women-movies ’80 for Brady’: These movie fans see themselves in the cast

Sarah Ridley

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