Hello, My Name Is Doris
Hello, My Name is Doris
Director: Michael Showalter
Writers: Laura Terruso, Michael Showalter
Cast: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Stephen Root, Elizabeth Reaser, Isabella Acres, Kyle Mooney, Natasha Lyonne, Kumail Nanjiani, Caroline Aaron, Tyne Daly, Peter Gallagher, Rebecca Wisocky, Amy Okuda
Synopsis: A self-help seminar inspires a sixty-something woman to romantically pursue her younger co-worker.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
8.5 / 10
- Acting was pretty good; especially Sally Field who gives a command performance
- Great script with lots of relatable characters
- Cinematography was good
- The editing for this movie was rather interesting, as I loved how the film would often show how Doris wanted each encounter with John to play out, but then show us how it really plays out, as that was kind of clever.
- The story takes forever to get going, but it picks up halfway through the second act.
- While the film does touch on Doris' relationship with her family, it never goes into it as much as you'd hope it would.
Not impossible. I'm possible
Robert DeNiro's dramatic comedy, "The Intern", taught us that old people can still serve a purpose in today's digital society, while this movie shows us that it's never too late to live your life. Doris (Sally Field) is a sixty something year old office worker, who's been living with her mother throughout most of her life. Sure, she did have an opportunity to get married once, but she turned it down when her mom fell incredibly ill, and chose to take care of her ever since. Years have passed, and Doris' mother is now dead.
Stricken with grief because she feels like she has nothing to live for, but she starts to take a self help seminar that teaches her nothing is impossible if she desires it bad enough. In this particular case, she has her eyes set on her young coworker, John (Max Greenfield), who could pass for her grandson. However, she becomes smitten by his charms to where she tries anything she can to be with him. In fact, there's various scenes throughout the movie where she'll often fantasize about how she would like each of their encounters to end up, but they usually never end the way that she hopes they would.
With the help of her friend's thirteen year old daughter, Vivian (Isabella Acres), she sets up a facebook page under the alias of "Primrose"; complete with a fake photo and everything. Through this profile, she's able to find out what he's into socially. As luck would have it, he's a huge fan of a new band that Vivian is familiar with, so she gives Doris dating advice about how to win him over.
After using Primrose to find out about the concert he's going to, Doris uses that opportunity to buy tickets for the same said concert, while acting as if she just happens to be there. The two inevitably meet, and hang out. Doris has a wonderful time hanging out with John, and she even gets invited backstage to meet the band. As luck would have it, they become so impressed by her that they even ask her to do some modeling for them.
She reluctantly agrees, as John even comes to her photo shoot. As time passes, they start to become good friends, while Doris hopes that it can eventually lead to something more. However, she inevitably finds out that John has put her in the friend zone, as he found himself a girlfriend. Of course, this causes Doris to become jealous to where she tries just about anything to ruin their relationship, in hopes of stealing him away from her.
But like most of her daydreams, things don't turn out how she expects. What I loved about this film was the fact that it never settles for any of the cheap Hollywood fluff we're used to seeing, and instead gives it us straight. Never scared to show us the harshness of reality. Sure, it's great to have confidence in pursuing the things that we want in life, but we also must learn that we can't always control how reality plays itself out.
Sally Field gives a mesmerizing performance that'll endear anyone's heart. While she can sometimes be a bit obtuse throughout the film, her character still comes as charming and sweet, to where you can't help but root for her.
"Hello, My Name is Doris" may not be the stereotypical romantic comedy that people love seeing just to get their cheap Hollywood sugar coated fix on relationships, but it does gives a colorful social commentary on life, and how sometimes even if things happen that are unexpected, it doesn't mean that life is over, as it could be a new beginning.
© 2016 Steven Daniels