Hello My Name Is Doris Review – Sweet Entertaining Film Filled with Possibilities

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Hello, My Name Is Doris, from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, brings to the screen a dramedy on love, romance, friendship, and family in the modern, anything goes, social media alternative world of the new non-conforming conformist.

Directed by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name Is Doris stars Sally Field, Tyne Daly, Max Greenfield, Beth Wendi McLendon-Covey, Stephen Root, Elizabeth Reaser, Beth Behrs and Peter Gallagher and was co-written by Showalter and Laura Terruso.

Hello, My Name is Doris begins at the end. Doris, played by Sally Field, is attending the funeral of her mother with Todd, played by Stephen Root, her brother and Cindy, his wife, played by Wendi McLendon-Covey. Ready, as all families are before rationality returns and loss has a moment to sink in, to discuss the home she lives in which he has decided should be sold. Now.

Of course, she is stronger than he thinks and leaves heartbroken over his insensitivity and her loss. Her longest friend, Roz, played by Tyne Daly, the perfect friend, who sees and understands her side and comforts and soothes the hurt.

Soon life is getting back to some normalcy as the film fast forwards and the brother and his wife of course are now talking about selling the possessions inside the home. In order to do that we find out early that Doris is a hoarder. Not simply duck sauce in the fridge or unused wrapping paper but as a typical Manhattanite living in Staten Island, she discovers new life in the discarded piles of others that often form paths along the sidewalks.

One this day our eccentric Doris has found a 1960’s burnt orange postmodern lamp which she proudly picks up and carries into her office. In accounting, she is the relic to a new age group of employees.

A Start-up mentality has shifted the company into the Facebook generation where openness, clean lines and clear spaces are best for productivity. Creating perfect harmony and greater productivity the firm mandated the final and newest change to the office décor: the replacement of all chairs with Balance Balls.

And on this day as she is tightly squeezed into a typical morning elevator ride she happens once to look up, outside herself, and as the elevator bumps and jolts with frequent stops, today, in front of her, is life.

Unbeknownst to Doris her elevator bump and grind was with the new Creative Director John Fremont, played by Max Greenfield.

Soon Doris, who in addition to hoarding and eccentricities has a unique fashion sense. Her wardrobe is a collection of unusual parings, bright Betsy Johnson styling, with layers and large bows in a beehive, pre-Madonna’s Material Girl. A look only she and her dearest friends could love.

Her infatuation with John, who is somewhat her junior, a reverse May-December romance that has her, an introvert, love starved and vividly imaginative, attempting to romance the much younger Fremont.

Soon she begins taking advice from Roz’s 13-year-old granddaughter and has finally entered the new millennium complete with facebook, rad language, fist bumps, neon techno-electro fusion and freedoms of modernity.

Of course her imagination and reality, like the course of true love never did run smooth, Doris is still working through her mother’s death; the brother who wants to sell her house, a psychiatrist who she agreed to see to help with the hoarding and her friend, Roz, who can’t understand taking the risk and having it pay off in anyway especially as it was her who made sure they went to those Tony Robbins-esqe new age seminars of possibility.

Like most women, Doris finds herself scheming, manipulating and devouring every piece of facebook information, creating a false identity with the hope that her allure will get him to at least accept her friendship. Of course, obsession can at times lead the soul to a dark place, where the send button seems like the only balm. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound the warning alarm before we hit the key and the fall, out, damage or repercussion of a single action can be worse than a gasoline fire. 

With heart stubbornly stuck in the last millennium, Doris and John, who is also new to Manhattan, become friends and the small encouragements he does give are seen through her the filter of a love starved heart and blown way out of proportion.

I really enjoyed this film. I must admit in the beginning Doris seems more in need of mental help than eccentric. Then as she mellows and begins to process the intense emotions that are coming at her from every angle she becomes vulnerable.

I think as the long time caregiver of her parent she put her life on hold and when her mother died, people often say, children become who they were supposed to be once their parents have passed, she was suddenly free and had no idea what to take on first.

The life she put on hold as we find out was the only real love of her life and suddenly free she chose someone of the same age, as if returning to the place where her life stopped would restart it again.

To say Sally Field is an accomplished actor is an understatement. Seeing her step out, which she said during the press conference playing Doris wasn’t a learning process for her, stepping into her, molding the unique, eccentric and misunderstood character into someone likable and sympathetic was no small feat.

Hello, My Name is Doris has a stellar supporting cast as Max Greenfield and Tyne Daly each ride a roller coaster of emotions as the status quo is changed by Doris’ grabbing the brass ring.

Hello, My Name Is Doris delivers and provides an entertaining evening of enlightenment, fun and laughs.

Hello My Name is Doris opens in theaters everywhere March 11, 2016.

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