Every now and then a movie comes along that I cannot help but encourage every single one of my friends to watch just so that we can talk about it. Hello, My Name is Doris one such movie!
This indie movie actually came out last year but I never got the chance to go and see it. With nothing to watch one night this past week and desperate for a respite from working in the evening once again, I found this darling little move on Amazon Prime.
The wonderful Sally Field is delightful as Doris a quirky, shy and insecure woman of an age that likely in her mind has not changed in years. I actually think she is in her 60s. Doris has lived on Staten Island all of her life with most of her adult life spent looking after her sick mother, who at the outset of the movie has just died. Doris who has never been married has a style “fashion-sense”, which makes people do a double take with her mishmash of patterns and colors and huge head scarf bow holding a hair piece in place. Somehow it actually works for her. She commutes every day by ferry into the city where she works as long time office worker where everyone knows her name but for all of her color vibrancy she mostly goes unnoticed.
The movie is a sometimes uncomfortable, comedic moving love story, which revolves around Doris’ fanciful attraction for a younger new co-worker, John played by New Girl’s, Max Greenfield, who is just perfect playing a charming and attractive but not conceited Art Director. Much to Doris’ surprise John shows interest in her, which she then interprets as attraction. This leads to some funny but awkward day dreaming scenes.
John’s friendship leads Doris to start to come out of her Staten Island, isolated, hoarder’s shell, which you applaud but are often holding your breath throughout the movie hoping she doesn’t make a total fool of herself, which of course she does.
This movie could absolutely have been unbearably cringe-worthy to watch as Doris’ unrequited love for a younger man unfolds, but Sally Field plays this character with such adorable and innocent whimsy you cannot help but always root for her to just be happy. What you don’t know, or actually what I didn’t know was whether I wanted her to end up with John.
If you like romantic comedies, Hello, My Name is Doris with its great cast that also includes the fantastic Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey) as Doris’ long time best friend, is a must watch for something a little different from the run of the mill romantic comedy.
Big thumbs up.