Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Indie Review: Hello, My Name Is Doris (2016)
'Hello, My Name Is Doris' Is A Unique Star Vehicle For Sally Field
I'm starting to see a trend of veteran actresses like Blythe Danner, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, and pretty soon Susan Sarandon landing lead roles that they can sink their teeth into. Yet I absolutely love it.
Hello, My Name Is Doris follows the story of an older woman named Doris (Sally Field) who has recently buried her mother she has lived with for so long. But she finds a reawakening in her life after attending a self-help seminar and once she meets a new, and much younger, supervisor at her work named John (Max Greenfield) who she slowly falls for.
First off is the one that anchors this movie and that is Sally Field as Doris. One way in which I can describe Field's performance is that she is always on. Every comedic facial expression as well as her ability to balance comedy and tragedy is perfectly nailed. But when her character enters tragic territory, Field never asks for our pity. She is portrayed as a simple older woman trying to satisfy her personal needs. While she has a terrific cast surrounding her, including the equally delightful and charming Max Greenfield, as well as Tyne Daly as Doris' closest friend Roz, the movie is really the Field show.
Since Field has retreated to television and supporting motherly film roles for quite a while, I applaud her for looking hard to land meaty roles like this one. Doris is a woman who is quite acerbic and socially awkward, yet embraces her awkwardness. Like so many others, she is a person who is timid yet is willing to take a chance on love.
Another thing that I appreciated is how the film doesn't just depict middle-aged love, but love in general. When Doris starts crushing on her young co-worker, audiences in general can relate to what she goes through regardless of what age they are. While the film does focus on how old Doris is, it isn't its main focal point. Also, while Field and Max Greenfield have great chemistry, they don't necessarily have romantic chemistry given how Greenfield's character sends mixed messages. That made his character stand out amongst other male love interests in romantic dramedies.
Overall, Hello, My Name Is Doris is a hilariously poignant reminder that Sally Field is still one of the best actresses working in the business. She'll make you laugh, break your heart, and above all, remind you how it feels to be in love. Hopefully, you'll fall in love with this film like I have.