SXSW FILM 2015
By Don Simpson | March 22, 2015
Director: Michael Showalter
Writers: Michael Showalter, Laura Terruso
Starring: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Stephen Root, Tyne Daly, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Natasha Lyonne, Beth Behrs, Peter Gallagher, Jack Antonoff, Don Stark, Rich Sommer, Kumail Nanjiani, Isabella Acres, Nnamdi Asomugha, Caroline Aaron, Rebecca Wisocky, Amy Okuda
An aging spinster in hipster clothing, Doris (Sally Field) has dedicated her entire adult life to her mother. Now that her mother has died, Doris finds herself reconsidering the sacrifices that she has made during her life. Enter John (Max Greenfield), the young new art director of the Manhattan-based office where Doris has worked as a data entry clerk for countless decades. Doris is instantly enamored with the dashing and affable young fellow, despite the fact that John is half her age. John represents a new beginning for Doris, an opportunity for her to experience things that she should have been doing in her twenties.
Though Hello, My Name Is Doris is saturated with humorous scenarios, Michael Showalter makes certain to never make fun of Doris. Showalter sees in Doris someone who is fun to be around; a quirky and awkward personality with a heart of gold (and a knack for fashion). Doris certainly has her faults, but she means well; she has always meant well, and that is what put her in the lonely predicament that she is in today.
While Hello, My Name Is Doris does not come right out and say it, the film slyly contemplates how society (and cinema) has historically perceived May-December romances. If this was a film about a twentysomething woman dating a sixtysomething man, that would be considered perfectly acceptable; in fact, they would most likely live happily after. Because Hello, My Name Is Doris features an older woman with a much younger man, their relationship is deemed unfathomable by everyone other than Doris; and it is the impossibility of Doris and John’s romance that represents the heart-wrenching core of Hello, My Name Is Doris.