“Hello, My Name is Doris”

Susan Granger’s review of “Hello, My Name is Doris” (Red Crown Productions)

 

It doesn’t take much for ditzy 60’ish Doris Miller (Sally Field) to fall in love.  So when the handsome, young art director at her company takes the trouble to gently straighten her lopsided eyeglasses in a crowded elevator, she’s smitten.

His name is John Fremont (Max Greenfield) and he’s recently arrived in Manhattan from Malibu.

Commuting each day to her tiny office cubicle from the cluttered Staten Island home she once shared with her late mother, timid Doris fantasizes about being with John.

That propels her into stalker mode, much to the chagrin of her feisty best friend, Roz (Tyne Daly), whose teenage granddaughter Vivian (Isabella Acres) introduces Doris to Facebook’s social media.

That’s how Doris learns that John’s favorite electronic band is playing at a nearby club and she ends up at a rock concert with him. Stumbling around in a bright yellow outfit, she attracts the attention of the band’s photographer who gets her to pose for the hipster cover of the band’s next album.

Realizing her hoarder instincts and emotional instability, Doris’ brother Todd (Stephen Root) and his callous wife (Wendi McLendon-Covey) urge her to consider selling the family home, an idea Doris adamantly rejects, despite gentle prodding from a hoarder-specializing therapist (Elizabeth Reaser).

Based on “Doris & the Intern,” a short film by Laura Terruso, it’s co-scripted and somewhat confusingly directed by Michael Showalter, who relishes Doris’s eccentricity, encouraging Sally Field (Oscar-winner for “Norma Rae”) to risk one ridiculous mortification after another.

Always appealing Peter Gallagher shows up as a smarmy motivational speaker, and Beth Behrs is likeable as clueless John’s age-appropriate girlfriend who invites Doris to join her knitting circle.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Hello, My Name is Doris” is an empathetic 6, an engaging character study.

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