Since I really like Sally Field, the Wife and I decided to see her new starring vehicle, Hello, My Name Is Doris, at the Spectrum Theatre, on a Monday matinee. The IMDB description is refreshingly succinct: “A self-help seminar inspires a sixty-something woman to romantically pursue her younger co-worker.”
Doris had put her life on hold before that seminar by Willy Williams (Peter Gallagher), which she attended with her best friend Roz (the ever solid Tyne Daly). Her boss Sally (Natasha Lyonne) had recently introduced the staff to the new art director, John (Max Greenfield), who is half her age. He also has a nice girlfriend named Brooklyn (Beth Behrs).
With the assistance of Roz’s granddaughter (Isabella Acres), Doris becomes tech savvy enough to discover John’s hangouts.
Meanwhile, Doris is being pressured by her brother and sister-in-law (Stephen Root, Wendi McLendon-Covey) to sell the house she shared with her late mother. They encourage/nag her to see a therapist (Elizabeth Reaser) to deal with her problem with clutter.
I really need to try harder to avoid the reviews for movies I might be interested in seeing, even the 85% positive ones from Rotten Tomatoes. One review suggested that Doris Miller was just a stereotype of a wacky older woman. I thought she was far more nuanced that that, though she DID have ONE cat.
Another critic said that John should have figured out that Doris was romantically interested in him. I don’t believe that AT ALL. Doris had been, in many ways, all but invisible.
Doris was working in a dead end job, staying in town to take care of her mother, whose funeral pretty much starts the film. She was cast in the caretaker role for years, delaying her own dreams.
I recommend Hello, My Name Is Doris. There were some laughs, and a couple groans, but more than that, a hint of recognition of people I know in real life in the title character.