Review: Say hello to ‘My Name is Doris’
In the funny, heartfelt and uncommonly sweet “Hello, My Name is Doris,” Sally Field has her best role in ages as Doris Miller, an office worker who develops a crush on a co-worker several decades her junior.
That co-worker is John Fremont, and he’s played by Max Greenfield from TV’s “The New Girl” in a completely charming performance that should make him a big-screen star.
Field’s Doris is a pack rat who lives with her mother on Staten Island; she’s a cat lady minus the cats. When her mother dies, Doris buries her feelings and begins spending time with her millennial co-workers at the fashion catalog where she does data entry.
Doris and John strike up an unlikely friendship, and Field and Greenfield bring that friendship to full, vivid life. Director and co-writer Michael Showalter, whose 2005 romantic comedy “The Baxter” was similarly kindhearted, handles the material with tenderness and care, and never lets it devolve into meanness the way it might in the hands of another director.
Field, a two-time Oscar winner who has been relegated to mom and aunt roles for the better part of the last 30 years, finally finds a part she can chew on, and her Doris is a tragi-comic joy. Field, who turns 70 this year, plays her with sweetness, innocence and vulnerability, with an undercurrent of sadness below her upbeat veneer.
Showalter’s script, which he wrote with Laura Terruso, pokes fun at millennials and modern-day Brooklyn, but he keeps the tone positive. He has a love for his characters and he imbues them with humanity, and he makes “Hello, My Name is Doris” a precious delight.
‘Hello, My Name is Doris’
Rated R for language
Running time: 95 minutes