Workplace romances can be an impenetrable labyrinth in any circumstance. Throw in the fact that the one doing the romancing is a sixty-something hoarder and the object of her affection is a hot twenty-something Brooklynite, and the complications that result are going to be absolutely hilarious. Or at least that’s the case when they’re handled by Michael Showalter in Hello, My Name is Doris.
Sally Field’s Doris is struggling to cope with the death of her mother. They had lived together for years and shared hoarding tendencies. In the midst of her grieving, her office hires a young new art director, John (Max Greenfield). Once Doris is able to move past her fantasies of romance into actually speaking to John, the two develop an unlikely friendship that leads to Doris becoming immersed in the Greenpoint scene. From there, Doris holds out hope that a romantic relationship will develop, grasping at any possible sign she can.
Hoarding and loneliness aren’t really subjects that scream laughs, but it’s said that a good comedy is simply a drama plus jokes, and that’s definitely the case here. That means that between all the humorous moments there are some really heartfelt situations. Doris is surrounded by a good group of friends, and that’s used to show the power that lifelong friends can have in helping someone deal with a crisis. Her issues with her mother’s death are never handled in a light way, and that’s when Field is able to showcase the full range of her remarkable performance.
That said, I’d be lying if I tried to claim anything other than the comedy is what you’ll remember from this movie. It’s hard to have moments of physical comedy come off as extremely funny, but somehow it’s pulled off by Showalter and Field here. Field shows that she’s still a top tier comedic actor. Coming in, I assumed she’d be a straightman of sorts in this plot, but that’s so far from the case, as she’s the funniest actor in the cast by leaps and bounds.
I’m not as tied into the Greenpoint scene as some others may be, but I hope the film’s portrayal is spot on. Especially when it comes to futuristic Renaissance electro shows and going to dinner at places called Dark. So many of the funniest moments in the film come from the way modern day New York is shown, and while that may not have the lasting impact of other jokes, it’s all kinds of enjoyable right now.
As with any comedy, there are certain things in the plot that could be a bit stronger, or certain characters that could be utilized a slight bit better, but on the whole, that’s all grossly overshadowed by how funny of a movie it is. And that’s what makes Hello, My Name is Doris an absolute must-see.
Hilarious from start to finish, Hello, My Name Is Doris is likely to be one of the funniest movies of 2015.