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Review: Hello, My Name is Doris

It starts with death. How's that for a comedy? At the funeral of her mother, Doris (Sally Field), with her cat-eye glasses and added hair piece, stands out as zany compared to her insincere brother and sister-in-law ("We're all pretty devastated, so..."). Though Michael Showalter's HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS starts with a caricature, it ends with a full-fledged character -- and a heartfelt one at that.


What Doris lacks in backbone, she more than makes up for in her unique, 50's retro style -- it's not just a fashion statement, it's an iron grip on the past. This nearly-retired woman has to take a ferry to work every day but refuses to move out of her mother's house; though her wardrobe gives an air of nonconformity at a surface level, we quickly come to realize that Doris gets caught up in the smallest of things. Having grown up with and cared for a hoarder to her dying day (her mother), Doris has developed a bit of an obsessive personality -- and though her fiesty best friend, Roz (Tyne Daly) is willing to accept this part of her, it leads her to all sorts of trouble the day a new employee starts at the office.

Young, handsome, and full of that youthful, hipster zest that has caused an avalanche of tropes in recent years, John Fremont (Max Greenfield) immediately catches Doris's eye. The problem is, he's in his twenties, she's in her fifties, and they have completely different ideas of what they want from a relationship with each other: while John seeks friendship in the office, Doris wants a romance. As she chases after her daydreams, it becomes apparent that her newfound freedom to focus on her life rather than someone else's is exhilarating -- but overwhelming.

DORIS is adorable, and laugh-out-loud funny; Field has a lot of room to work her comedic magic in this role, but just as thoroughly builds Doris's complexities. Greenfield is a delight, and Daly serves as the anchor in this charming comedy. HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS starts at the Midtown Cinema on April 1 - make sure to check this one out!

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