Hello, My Name Is Doris

The body’s not even cold before Doris’s brother is talking about selling their dead mother’s house, which means Doris is about to be homeless, and even worse, divulge an embarrassing secret: it wasn’t Mom who was the hoarder.

And while we’re on the topic of embarrassing subjects: Doris is nursing a secret workplace crush on a younger man. A much, much younger man. And boy do her fantasies get away on her!

hello-my-name-is-doris-cinema-siren-1024x682.jpgShe takes a little dating advice from a millennial and suddenly she’s adopted by a whole crowd of hipsters who fail to recognize that her “retro chic” look isn’t exactly ironic.

Sally Field plays Doris and it’s a BRILLIANT comedic role. But because it’s Sally Field it’s so much more than that. In any other hands, Doris may have appeared clownish but Field injects the character with kind if flawed humanity. Max Greenfield and Tyne Daly add excellence to the mix, but that’s already 10 words not talking about how utterly wonderful Sally Field is. She embraces and embodies the late-blooming Doris, deftly managing some awkward shifts between drama and comedy, painting the character with shades of tragic hero, coming-of-(old)age, endearing quirk, eccentric wallflower, emboldened risk-taker, sympathetic neurotic: a woman tired of being laughed at who starts laughing along with them and wins. It is a complete joy to watch her on-kissscreen, from the very first minute to the last.

The movie unpacks a lot of issues – ageism, desire, resentment, mental illness – and to its credit, it doesn’t attempt to fit them back neatly into a box. The ending is bravely open-ended. But it also suffers from perhaps taking on more than the writers really understood what to do with (Michael Showalter directs and shares writing credit with Laura Terruso). But any bumps along the way are filled in with Field’s gloss. She makes this movie glow. And watching her do an eletro-pop jitterbug is hands down the best thing I’ve seen at the movies all year. Keep an eye out for this one; it’s in select theatres now.

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22 thoughts on “Hello, My Name Is Doris

  1. Brittani

    I wondered how well ageism would be tackled in this movie. My theater had it for a long time and I never got around to seeing it. I think I’ll check it out on DVD after reading this.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Well I think it was good in that they tried not to make it into a “she’s an old lady” thing. She is undeniably older and I there were definite themes of life passing you by, but it was sensitive, and most of it’s a credit to her.

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  2. Liz A.

    I had not heard of this one. And it’s probably playing locally. (We have a couple local theaters that get the hard-to-find. One of the perks of living in Los Angeles County.)

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  3. Lorna Cunningham-Rushton

    I wanted to see this from the time I saw a trailer, but thought I’d have to pretend I’d gone to Costco, so no one would know. Thanks for showing me what a cruddy decision that was.

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    1. Jay Post author

      It’s still playing at the Rainbow cinemas at St Laurent and if you’re really motivated, out in Kanata. But if not, put it on your to-rent list. You’ll like it.

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  4. calensariel

    This one goes on my TBS list. I love her in anything. I loved her so much in a little-known movie, “A Cooler Climate.” Wanted to buy it but the bloomin’ thing isn’t on DVD and the VHS is really pricey.

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  5. Divorce With Me

    I didn’t know this existed and am definitely going to watch! I absolutely love Sally Fields! She is incredible and, based on your review, seems like she did a fab job in this role! Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Pingback: 2016: Year of the Fabulous Ladies | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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