By Kathryn Whitney Boole
Are you ready to just relax and see a super cute, fun romp embracing all ages? Go see “Hello, My Name Is Doris” starring some of your favorite people, who all have loads of fun with their well-written roles. Sally Field, as Doris, could have played her role simply as a cliché of a crazy little old lady. However, she brings her character completely to life, and makes her identifiable to us no matter what age we are. After the first minute or two, we realize we have no idea what to expect from the unique and unpredictable Doris. Due to her life circumstances, her instincts seem to have been frozen at the age of a high school student. In fact, a teenager (Isabella Acres) becomes her most trusted social advisor.
Director Michael Showalter (“Wet Hot American Summer”) wrote and directed this gem from a short film idea by Laura Terrusa that she produced in 2011 as a graduate film student at NYU. Production designer Melanie Jones (“Whiplash”) has done an excellent job juxtaposing the brightness of Doris’s workplace, which is populated by much younger co-workers, with the dark clutter of her home.
The cast, assembled by casting directors Sunny Boling and Meg Morman, are from your favorite TV shows. Field, of course, spans generations, from “Gidget” (1965-66) and “The Flying Nun” (1967-70) to “Brothers & Sisters” (2006-11), not to mention her classic performance in “Smokey and the Bandit,” Oscar-winning turn in “Norma Rae,” and more recently as Aunt May in the Spider-Man films. You will also see Max Greenfield from “New Girl” as the perplexed young love interest, Beth Behrs from “2 Broke Girls” as his folk singer girlfriend (few people know that Behrs has training as a classical singer), Wendi McLendon-Covey, Stephen Root and Elizabeth Reaser.
The story in “My Name Is Doris” takes unexpected twists and turns, and the characters are intricate and nuanced. Ultimately, quirky Doris, in her 60s, fits right into the pop culture of hip Williamsburg. Perhaps that’s why the film won the Audience Award at the South by Southwest festival in 2015.
Rated R. 95 minutes.
Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which is the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. Reach her at email@example.com. For previously published reviews, see https://kwboole.wordpress.com.