Director: Michael Showalter
Run Time: 1h 35m
Sometimes life needs a little spicing up.
Doris (Sally Field) hasn’t exactly had what most would consider a full life. She’s shy and awkward and doesn’t have much of a social life. Her idea of a fun outing is attending self-help seminars, and one in particular– after a very dreamy meeting — ignites something in Doris she never knew existed. When speaker Willy Williams (Peter Gallagher) teaches Doris that “impossible” simply means “I’m possible” she turns her life upside down…for a guy. Her newest coworker, John (Max Greenfield), is sweet and handsome…and half her age. But that doesn’t stop her from doing anything and everything to get John’s attention. So when she does catch his eye, she believes that everything is finally going right for her. But is it?
Hands-down, this movie is all about Sally Field and her sparkly goodness. I don’t think I would have enjoyed Hello, My Name is Doris as much if I hadn’t connected with and fell in love with Doris from the moment we met. Doris is uniquely strange in so many different ways that I’m sure every person knows someone — or is someone — that can be compared to some piece of her character. Sally embraces everything about Doris and all her little idiosyncrasies and by making her relatable she becomes lovable. From wearing a fake hair piece, to donning two pairs of glasses for reading, to having the most awesomely bad fashion sense of a woman her age… Sally sells it, every bit.
Loving Doris is also made easy by the writing. The dialogue is witty, yes; but the situations Doris finds herself in are hysterical. (ie. Concerts, dinner parties, ridiculous daydreams.) There were quite a few murmurs interspersed with giggles from the audience to suggest they were both horrified and entertained by what they saw. And Doris doesn’t stop at the laughs. It gets quite serious here and there and ultimately does have a message to tell. The film just chooses to tell it through comedy mostly and uses a sweet old lady as their caricatured medium.
Truly there isn’t much else to say because this film is all about story and character. Doris is a feel-good movie and it never tries to be anything else. It makes fun of everyone and everything without being obnoxious. Heartfelt and humorous I believe Doris will make quite an impression if you let her. This would be a great pick for Ladies’ Night.
Max Greenfield is no stranger to befriending social outcasts. He costars with Zooey Deschanel on a little show called New Girl. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?