Sally Field makes ‘Doris’ a likable romp


There aren’t too many roles for women in their 60s in Hollywood. Sure, Meryl Streep has managed to stay busy, but not many others.

With “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” Sally Field proves why she and other women should keep getting chances.

Field got a standing ovation when her movie premiered a year ago in Austin at the South by Southwest Film Festival, and she said the following day that she was very nervous, adding that “you always get nervous if you care.”

In the movie, she plays an older woman who has taken care of her mother in a cluttered house on Staten Island. She’s lonely, and she’s pretty much overlooked at her office, where she’s surrounded by youngsters.

She has a habit of picking up stuff out of the trash, and from the looks of her outfits, she has never shopped in a retail store.

When her mother dies, the loneliness becomes overwhelming, and Doris decides after attending a self-help meeting that she’s going to make big changes in her life. As it so happens, there’s a new guy in the office, and she develops a crush on him.

The new guy, played by Max Greenfield, is charming, of course. He pays attention to Doris. And she daydreams about seeing him shirtless.

But it seems inappropriate for Doris to be pursuing the guy, and much of the comedy comes from this setup. To get to know more about the new guy, Doris goes to the house of a longtime friend, played by Tyne Daly, and discovers the secrets of Facebook — that the new guy likes a particular band. So Doris shows up the next day at the office with a CD of the band and prominently displays it on her desk. She also starts snooping into his private life, especially who he’s dating.

But the movie is much more than that. Doris is finally becoming a full person, even if she does so in a weird way.

It’s a beautiful performance, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else being able to pull off the role.

In an interview with the American-Statesman, Field said she had a great time making the movie, especially picking out the outfits. But she’s still not sure about one of the neon get-ups she wears to a concert, saying she told director Michael Showalter that she didn’t want Doris to look crazy.

She doesn’t.



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