For Reel

Hello, My Name Is Doris (2015)
April 10, 2016, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Michael Showalter
3.5 Stars
Hello My Name is DorisA decade after his feature directorial debut, sketch comedy mainstay Michael Showalter once again explores the mechanical workings of a romantic comedy by subverting one element and making nearly everything else the same. The familiar trappings are there—a quirky, shy heroine (Sally Field) quickly falls in love with a co-worker (Max Greenfield) at the office, leading to a myriad of awkward encounters before the they find themselves investing in a relationship almost by happenstance. And yet, that the woman of this narrative could be his mother challenges not only the audience’s understanding of her character’s traits, but the perspective towards the relationship itself. When the “manic pixie dream girl” is a senior, she moves more into “sad old woman” territory than one with admirable quirks. Showalter cleverly discusses how the younger generation uses Doris (Field) as an accessory that validates their own ironic sense of fashion, although sometimes he seems suffocated by the mechanics of a screenplay wherein audiences will be able to predict not only what happens next, but exactly when that story beat will happen. This is the sort of film where a character is a hoarder only because it will lead to a montage where she separates from her baggage. And yet, Field is a breath of fresh air in a genre that begs for these reinventions, and Greenfield has a good chemistry with her as the well-meaning, if incredibly aloof love interest.

1 Comment so far
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This film is very watchable, although I think the comedy side of things are only one part of the story. In many ways its a sad tale about the invisible woman sydrome and an overreaching lonely old maid. Do we laugh as loudly for the patriarchal Lolita syndrom? Drop in for a read of my version.

Comment by CineMuse

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