Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hello, my name is Doris

The older I get, the more I start to appreciate the value in not knowing anything about a film before I go to see it. Case in point: 'Hello, my name is Doris', a character dramedy with an unconventional plot line and intriguing main protagonist played by Sally Field,  best known for her role in the drama series, Brothers & Sisters.
At first sight, the film seems to be nothing more than a slightly off-center romantic rom-com, but as the plot develops, you start to realise that the film contains an exceptional degree of layered complexity that makes it surprisingly enthralling.
Doris herself is an awkward 60+ year old accountant, suffering from a few mental disorders and a severe lack of emotional intelligence. But weirdly enough, all of this makes her highly intriguing to a modern culture of 'hipsterism', leading to Doris' weaknesses all being perceived as intriguing quirks within the context of the ironic world of Generation Y.
A match made in hipster heaven.
Although most of the film's best humorous moments sprouts from the way Doris' newfound younger friends perceive her and the situations it leads to, the film never resorts to hyperbolizing the situations that Doris finds herself in. Because of this, the film allows it itself to be infectiously funny, whilst at the same time, delivering thoughtful social commentary on today's modern generation.
Another of the film's greatest strengths is the depths of its character study. Although there are moments where Doris is irritating, aggravating and painfully awkward, you cannot help but develop a deep sense of empathy for her predicament, as you find yourself rooting for this unlikely anti-hero.
"Although there are moments where Doris is irritating, aggravating and painfully awkward, you cannot help but develop a deep sense of empathy for her predicament, as you find yourself rooting for this unlikely anti-hero."
The rest of the cast also do a great job in giving the film a true sense of honesty and grounding, creating a considered juxtaposition between Doris' more longer standing relationships and those with her newest community of friends. Special mention to Max Greenfield (Doris' love interest), Stephen Root and Tyne Daly.
Lastly, don't expect any form of fulfilment by the end of this film. Hello,  my name is Doris isn't the type of film that tries to hold its viewer's hand and instead leaves the final conclusion very much up in the air, a subtle 'zap sign' to romantic comedies who insults their audience center with predictable endings.
Highlight: Mid-way through the film,  Doris attends an electronic concert. The amount of fun that this 60+ year old lady has at the event puts any younger folk to shame.