Synopsis: A self-help seminar inspires a sixty-something woman to romantically pursue her younger co-worker.
Release Date: March 18, 2016 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama
Over the course of her career, Sally Field has gone from fun-loving beach bunny in “Gidget” to two-time Oscar winner for Norma Rae and Places in the Heart (with a third nomination for Lincoln). Well, even after all these years, it looks like Sally Field still has a little bit of the fun-loving beach bunny in her, because the comedic Sally is on full display in Hello, My Name is Doris.
Hello, My Name is Doris stars Field as Doris Miller, a painfully awkward older lady who works at an unfulfilling job. Unfulfilling, that is, until a handsome new art director named John Fremont (Max Greenfield from “The New Girl”) is hired. Even though he is decades younger than she is, Doris becomes infatuated with John and, with the help of her friend’s granddaughter, she begins to stalk him on Facebook. Doris learns about John, creates a new identity for herself out of all of the things that he likes, and befriends him with her new persona, winning over the admiration of him and his hipster circle of friends. Right as Doris starts to believe that John has feelings for her, she meets his girlfriend – a gorgeous young gal named Brooklyn (Beth Behrs from “Two Broke Girls”). Heartbroken, Doris plots to sabotage John’s relationship so that she can pursue her May-December romance with him.
Director Michael Showalter (one of the creators of the classic Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer Laura Terruso (Fits and Starts) adapted the screenplay for Hello, My Name is Doris from a short film of Terruso’s called “Doris & the Intern.” At its basest level, it’s a wacky, whimsical fish-out-of-water movie in which a woman tries to re-invent herself to gain the affections of a younger man. Of course, it makes deeper statements about changing who you are to please other people and chasing after unrequited love, but the bottom line is that it’s a very sweet and charming movie about a sweet and charming lady who happens to live her life a little left-of-center. Showalter does a great job giving the quirky script a Woody Allen-meets-Noah Baumbach treatment, part screwball comedy and part hip mumblecore feature. Whatever Showalter does, he does it right, because Hello, My Name is Doris is a really fun movie.
Doris Miller is a great character, and Sally Field brings her to life wonderfully. Doris is instantly relatable because she’s extremely likable. Everyone will see a little of themselves in Doris, but they’ll also see a little of everyone around them. Even when the audience knows that she’s being ridiculous by wanting to have a romantic relationship with John when John is committed to Beth, it still kind of hopes that she can make it happen. The viewer wants Doris to be happy, because dammit, she deserves it. Audiences can’t deny the fact that they like her, right now, they like her!
Hello, My Name is Doris is the kind of comedy that screams of total effortlessness. The script is smart and the eccentric characters are brought to life by great performances, so the laughs come very easily. Of course, much of the humor comes from Doris being out of her element, but it happens in such an organic and genuine way that the audience is able to laugh with her instead of at her. For example, at one point Doris learns that John’s favorite band, Baby Goya and the Nuclear Winters, is playing in town. She makes plans to go to the concert and looks up what typical Baby Goya fans wear, discovering that they are usually clad in florescent colored clothing. She pulls an ensemble out of her closet that is hilariously perfect, one that’s centered around a bright jumpsuit and neon visor that makes her look like a time-travelling tourist from the seventies and eighties. Of course, John and his friends love the outfit, and Baby Goya himself even puts Doris’ picture on an album cover. It’s that kind of irreverent, never-let-up humor that makes Hello, My Name is Doris so much fun to watch.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Michael Showalter
- Producer(s): Daniel CrownKevin MannRiva MarkerJordana MollickDaniela Taplin Lundberg
- Screenwriter(s): Laura TerrusoMichael Showalter
- Cast: Sally Field (Doris Miller)Max Greenfield (John Fremont)Beth Behrs (Brooklyn) Wendi McLendon-Covey (Cynthia)Stephen Root (Todd)Natasha Lyonne (Sally)Kumail Nanjiani (Nasir)Tyne Daly (Roz)Isabella Acres (Vivian)Kyle Mooney (Niles)Caroline Aaron (Val)Peter Gallagher (Willy Williams)
- Editor(s): Robert Nassau
- Cinematographer: Brian Burgoyne
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer: Rebecca Gregg
- Casting Director(s): Sunny BolingMeg Morman
- Music Score: Brian H. Kim
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA