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"Hello, My Name Is Doris" (2015 release; 90 min.) brings the story of Doris (played by Sally Field). As the movie opens, we see Doris mourning the passing of her mom, and being pressured by her brother to sell the maternal house, or at least get rid of all the stuff Doris is hoarding. It's not long before we see Doris doing her daily work commute on the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan, and in the packed elevator onto the office, she is pressed up against a younger guy, who turns out to be the new art director at her work. Doris promptly develops a crush on him. At this point we're 10 minutes or so into the movie, but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this rom-com is directed by Michael Showalter, best known for writing and starring in the "Wet Hot American Summer" film (and subsequent Netflix prequel series). Here, he tackles the subject of the older woman-younger guy potential relationship with a light touch. The first half of the movie goes for the outright comedy aspects, as we see the Sally Filed character in a number of improbable (including some brought as fantasy) scenes, to the total delight of last night's theater crowd, which went absolutely wild with laughter (more on that later). At some point, Doris and her friend Roz go to see a motivational speaker, where she confides about her 'impossible' crush on her co-worker. "Impossible? Make that I'm possible!" advises the speaker, ha! The second half of the movie goes more into more serious aspects, including surprisingly but very effectively the hoarding issues (the hoarding "intervention" scene is for me the best of the entire movie). Sally Field, now a crisp 69 years young, brings a stellar performance as the perky Doris, completely blowing away Max Greenfield (exactly half her age) as her co-worker John, Beth Behrs (as John's possible flame), and the rest of the cast. Tyne Daly as her friend Roz remains feisty as ever, The movie is well paced, and clips by in no time. There is a surprising amount of great indie music featured in the movie, including from Pearl and the Beard, Bryan Wells, and a bunch of other unknowns (to me anyway).
"Hello, My Name Is Doris" made quite a splash when it was first shown at SXSW 2015, yes exactly a year ago already, Not sure why it's take this long for it to get a general release. The movie opened this weekend on a single screen for all of Greater Cincinnati, and the Saturday evening screening where I saw this at was absolutely packed to the rafters (tilting heavily towards seniors, I might add). The audience absolutely LOVED the movie, laughing out loud, hooting and hollering where you might expect it, and giving a round of applause when the end titles started rolling. From that reaction, I'd say that this movie has all the makings of a solid hit on the art-house theater circuit. If you are in the mood for a light-hearted rom-com that at times touches on some serious aspects as well, you cannot go wrong with this.
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