Hello My Name is Doris (2015)

2015 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL

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Doris (Sally Field) is in the process of grieving, as her mother whom she cared for has just passed away. She and her mother were hoarders, which worries her brother and his wife (Stephen Root & Wendi McLendon-Covey). However, Doris forgets about all that when the young and handsome John (Max Greenfield) comes to work at her company. She’s immediately taken aback by him and will do everything she can to get his attention, despite her – best-friend (Tyne Daly) advising her against chasing a younger man.

Doris picked herself up a new lamp on the street.
Doris picked herself up a new lamp on the street.

Hello, My Name is Doris is a very charming, extremely funny little independent film that is another brilliant showcase for the talented Sally Field. With somewhat of an odd-duck premise, I wasn’t too sure how this film would have played out. Rest assured, the entire cast chips in to making this one of the more enjoyable movies of the festival and together they are the cause of most of the pain in my sides after laughing so often. Doris certainly has the feel of an independent film, but the final product is truly something that everyone will come to love and adore.

Sally Field finds herself in one of her most obscure roles and she handles it with such amazing spirits that it’s the best thing ever when she simply smile. As Doris, she brings a lot of pent-up emotion to the film and puts an emphasis on the aspect of finding love and self-help. Doris is easily swayed by people, but Field also knows how to play the game and is performing flirting tactics that usually work best for women in their 20’s. Throughout the whole film, Field never stops putting on one of her greater performances and she has an absolute blast entertaining the audience.

John makes Doris smile real wide.
John makes Doris smile real wide.

Max Greenfiled is one of the most charismatic guys in the business right now and if you’ve ever seen New Girl, you’ll understand just how hilarious this guy can be with doing very little. Greenfield approaches Field with some reservations, but you get the sense that he really does enjoy her company and he treats her extremely well. Greenfield can also play more emotional, as evidenced by his great role in About Alex. The energy and personality that he adds is the perfect balance between him and Field and the two work wonders together.

Director Michael Showalter co-wrote this film with Laura Terruso and their final product really is quite special to them and to the audience. There’s an intimacy that they bring with their writing and you’re so easily won over by these extraordinary characters because you care about what they’re doing and what happens to them very quickly. The duo land most of their jokes with spectacular fashion and then will switch things up and bring in some rather sad and emotional sequences. The dream/fantasy sequences are especially funny and the pair know how to use physical humor to their advantage.

Max Greenfield at the premiere of Hello, My Name is Doris.
Max Greenfield at the premiere of Hello, My Name is Doris.

With such a wide range of an extremely talented cast, many of their characters feel forced in the sense that they’re either helping, or distracting Doris from her main goal. There’s the whole subplot of her hoarding and the effect her family has on her, but not enough light is shed on that side of Doris. We most often get the bubbly and good spirited Doris and there’s only one moment where she truly breaks down. Her meltdown (of sorts) felt rushed and then the hoarding really tries to make its claim as a part of the film. They’re not bad sequences, but they did feel somewhat out-of-place.

Hello, My Name is Dorris is by far and away the most well received film at the festivals thus far, with everyone who’s seen it singing its praises immediately after. It definitely has a feel-good vibe to it and to call it a crowdpleaser wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Sally Field commands he screen with a lovely performance that’s sure to garner her a lot of attention and Max Greenfield is the perfect counterpart to her quirky character. Doris is the type of girl and film that’s going to give you exactly what you want to see.

Hello, My Name is Doris Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvHT-QPFqek

4 STARS!!!

4 / 5 stars     

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