Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Michael Showalter and Roadside Attractions comes an awakening with HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS.
Doris Miller (Sally Field) is a sixty-something single woman living with her mother and working in a cubicle minding her own life. When her mother passes, brother Todd (Stephen Root) and his wife Vivian (Isabella Acres) want to sell the house. Trying to persuade Doris to de-clutter and move into a smaller place in the city sets Doris’ mind on edge.
A creature of habit, Doris is not about to let go of her things or the house. Hanging out with friend Roz (Tyne Daly), they go to see motivational speaker Willie Williams (Peter Gallagher) who gets through to Doris about making the impossible things in her life possible.
Her first step is to embrace a crush she had on co-worker John Fremont (Max Greenfield). From Facebook she learns what John likes and immerses herself in music and finds joy in life she had forgotten. Connecting with him also begins to pull her away from Roz and the traditions they shared.
But when John falls for Brooklyn (Beth Behrs), Doris takes things way out of her comfort zone and becomes someone she doesn’t recognize.
It’s not easy being Doris.
Fields as Doris has just made me love her all the more. I’ve actually grown up watching Fields grow up on the screen taking on every role I could ever have imagined. Doris is another well chosen character by Fields where she takes us on this amazing journey exploring every human emotion. That’s what makes Doris so believable, because Fields pulls at our heart strings and twirls a double-dutch! I laughed, got a little misty; jaw dropped, laughed more and had moments of thought (also including thinking it may be time to declutter my home!).
Greenfield as John is just a kind hearted, simple, insecure, and outgoing young man. From the moment he and Doris meet it isn’t hard to understand why she is drawn to him. He sees her uniqueness that those in the office who have spent much longer around her have managed to overlook. Is it because she’s older – well of course it is. The generation gap is clearly there but John helps make that gap useless.
Daly as Roz is completely hilarious. Her friendship with Doris is so very important to her but since the death of her husband Roz finds comfort in her besties company. I truly enjoyed her performance and wanted to hug it out with her! Root as Todd is a brother that needs to find a mind of his own. He wants to help his sister but I always got the feeling not in the way that his wife pushed him towards. Speaking of wife, Acres as Vivian had the audience practically hissing at the screen. Not a nice person at all but Acres performance is so good!
Gallagher as the motivational speaker needs a shout out because even though he seemed like such a ridiculous speaker – he did reach Doris so I can’t fault the guy for that.
Other cast include: Wendy McLendon Covey as Cynthia, Kyle Mooney as Niles, Natasha Lyonne as Sally, Kumail Nanjiani as Nasir, Caroline Aaron as Val, Rebecca Wisocky as Anne, Amy Okuda as Des, Don Stark as Uncle Frank, Rich Sommer as Robert and Elizabeth Reaser.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS four tubs of popcorn out of five. I absolutely love Sally Fields in this film and for so many reasons. She gives Doris such quirkiness and charm and that makes her so endearing. The storyline flowed so well and the ensemble cast deserves more kudos than I could ever give.
At the screening of the film I can honestly say that the audience embraced the film totally. There was laughter, a few sniffles, a lot of ‘awwww’s’, more laughter and a few whispers of ‘oh no!’ That’s means HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS reached each of them in a way that will leave a lasting impression and be talked about for a while to come.
In the end – she’s not ready to act her age.