Hello, My Name is Doris (2016)

doris

The Plot

In a short span of time, Doris (Sally Field) loses her mother, whom she has lived with her entire life, and attends a particularly inspiring self-help seminar. These two events rock her out of a lifetime of complacency and inspire her to pursue a handsome young co-worker (Max Greenfield) for whom she has been fostering a crush.

 Let’s Get One Thing Straight

This is not a film I would normally see. I tend to shy away from comedies. I’ve been let down by so many in recent years that I’m extremely hesitant to give a new one a chance. And on the rare occasion when I do, I get burned. (I’m embarrassed to admit that I broke my “no comedies” rule to see the unforgivably dreadful

And on the rare occasion when I do, I get burned. (I’m embarrassed to admit that I broke my “no comedies” rule to see the unforgivably dreadful Dumb and Dumber To during its theatrical run. It has only been in the last three months that the night terrors have subsided.) Throw in the fact that this is not only a comedy, but a romantic comedy…and, well, that’s the kiss of death in my book. However, my brother had seen the trailer and suggested that we give it a shot because it looked funny. What did I have to lose?

Throw in the fact that this is not only a comedy, but a romantic comedy…and, well, that’s the kiss of death in my book. However, my brother had seen the trailer and suggested that we give it a shot because it looked funny.

What did I have to lose?

 Let’s Get Another Thing Straight

Hello, My Name is Doris is a great little film.

Based the short, Doris and the Intern (2011), writer/director Michael Showalter and Laura Terruso balance just enough premise with some masterful casting choices. As both creator of and writer for the classic sketch series,

As both creator of and writer for the classic sketch series, The Stateand writer for both the film and Netflix versions of Wet Hot American Summerit’s safe to say that Showalter has more than a cursory understanding of comedy.

Sally Field

This film lives and dies by Sally Field’s performance. She is irresistibly charming as the lonely cat lady with a penchant for hoarding. She is quirky and frumpy, while still endearing.

Ms. Field’s star power is key to the success of this picture. The same role left in the hands of a less charismatic or talented performer would not be pleasant. An actor of her caliber is able to shift gears between the romantic “A plot” and the “B plot” (involving the hoarding issues) with believability and ease. She has a fragile appeal that allows you to root for her.

Supporting Cast

Max Greenfield was an excellent choice as the would-be love interest, John Fremont. He lent a cool modernity to the role that counterbalances the awkwardness of the Doris character. Plus, he and Sally Field had the necessary onscreen chemistry to set the plot in motion.Going in, I was most concerned how that relationship would play, but these two clicked.

Tyne Daly plays Doris’ brash, no-nonsense best friend, Roz. Daly crushes it. She gets the biggest laughs in her scenes, if not the movie. This is another example of how killer chemistry between two uber-talented performers ratchets up a movie.

Jack Antonoff. Though a small part, Jack Antonoff is perfect as the impossibly trendy electronic pop star, Baby Goya. (Doris stalks John via social media. She discovers that his favorite musician, Baby Goya, will be performing in town so she “coincidentally” bumps into him at the concert, thus triggering their first “date.”)

Overall

Hello, My Name is Doris is a fun film. It is loaded with laughs while chock full of solid performances by talented actors. It was neat to see older and younger faces both in pivotal roles in the same movie. It is a breath of fresh air for an otherwise stale roster of Hollywood pictures.

This may seem like an odd suggestion, but I would like to see Doris live on in another medium.

I mean this in the best way possible, but the film plays like a great extended episode of a television program. I think the premise has legs. I’d like to see it continue on as a limited-episode Netflix series. Granted all the key names would need to be onboard for it to fly, but I think it could work. (If this happens, I’m taking full credit!!)

If you are on the fence about checking this movie out, give it a shot. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

More about film:

Through the Eyes of Chivo

Green Room

Negasonic Teenage…Bombshell?

The Witch

Deadpool

-Zep the Bear

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