Hello, My Name Is Doris Director: Michael Showalter
Screenwriter: Michael Showalter, Laura Terruso
Cast: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs, Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Stephen Root, Elizabeth Reaser, Jack Antonoff, Natasha Lyonne, Tyne Daly
Release date: March 14, 2015 (SXSW)
In Hello, My Name Is Doris, Doris (Sally Field, The Amazing Spider-Man) is a sixty-something woman experiencing a life crisis. Inspired by a motivational speaker, Doris attempts to woo a much younger man, and finds herself embraced by the Brooklyn hipster scene in the process.
Having missed out on living for the first sixty years of her life, Doris is equal parts innocent and lustful; desperate to experience life before it’s too late. Screenwriter Laura Terruso’s juxtaposition of “vintage-obsessed hipster” culture and “cooky cat-lady hoarder” is brilliant, lending itself to endless situational comedy. Field is perfect in the role of Doris. Funny, vulnerable, sexy, and cute, often all at the same time.
Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer) and Terruso’s script (based on a short by Terruso) is a master class in comedy writing. Laughter and pain are entwined, romance and cringeworthy embarrassment go hand-in-hand. Max Greenfield (New Girl) and Field have amazing chemistry. Their characters, with 30 years difference in their ages, walk a constant line between flirtation and friendship. Transcending age and sexuality, their interactions get at the heart of human connection. Whether we’re just starting out or nearing the end of life, we all find ourselves in search of love.
The entire cast is impressive and all of the performances are excellent, but it’s Field who really shines. Doris is more than just a cooky cat lady swept up in a hipster comedy of errors. She is a woman facing her own mortality, coming to terms with the grave mistakes she’s made in a life spent living for everyone but herself. She searches for connection and acceptance in a culture that values her only as a novelty item.
Seeing this phenomenally charming, heartwarming film, while seated in the plush rows of the gorgeous Paramount Theater at SXSW, was almost unbearable. Showalter and Terruso have crafted a new classic, one I can’t wait to share with everyone I know.
Max Greenfield and Sally Field make a hilarious couple in Hello, My Name is Doris.