MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Directed by Michael Showalter. Starring Sally Field, Max Greenfield.
Doris (Field) is a data entry worker who daily reports to her cubicle and does her job efficiently. She keeps to herself and is largely ignored by the younger employees at her office. She is the dutiful daughter who takes care of her invalid mother in her cluttered Staten Island house.
When mom finally dies, Doris (now in her sixties) is free to explore other possibilities. Attending a self-help seminar led by Willy Williams (Peter Gallagher), she is inspired to turn the impossible into the “I’m Possible”.
Into her office steps John Fremont (Greenfield), the new art director, who takes time to notice Doris and compliment her on her eyeglasses. Doris is smitten with this man who is half her age and begins to fantasize about what their life might be together.
Doris’ best bud is Roz (Tyne Daly) who always sees the best in her. When Doris decides to enter the social networking scene, Roz’ 13-year-old granddaughter (Isabella Acres) is only too glad to help.
Director-writer Michael Showalter gives Sally Field plenty of room to inhabit this character, with outrageous and colorful clothing to accompany her wistful dreams. Field has compared this role to Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp and she shows us real joy as well as the melancholy of a person who may have postponed her personal dreams for too long.
Hello, My Name Is Doris provides no easy answers or deep insights but it does provide the simple pleasure of watching a capable cast deliver an entertaining character study. If you simply want to while away an hour and a half with good company, you may want to get to know Doris.
Three halos: A fine performance by Sally Field makes this worth seeing, even if it treads familiar ground.
One pitchfork: Much casual swearing.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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