In lesser hands, Hello, My Name Is Doris would be a tragic misfire.
But thanks to Field’s incredible versatility and director Michael Showalter’s long comedy resume (which includes Wet Hot American Summer, Stella and The State), Doris is always at the center of the joke, but never the butt of it.
Sure, there’s plenty of reason to giggle when Doris falls for John (Greenfield), the new guy in the office where she works in data entry, but there’s reason to cheer too.
Living in a big, cluttered house with few attachments outside of her friends Roz (Tyne Daly) and Val (Caroline Aaron), Doris needs some fireworks. It may be silly when she daydreams about makeout sessions with John, starts following his favorite electronica band, and going to parties with a puff-puff-pass crowd, but if you aren’t also inspired (and maybe a little bit jealous), you’re missing the point.
The joy Field brings to Doris is infectious and, yes, funny, as are Daly and Aaron as women trying to talk some sense into their dotty friend. (For more on Field, check out her candid interview in the new issue of PEOPLE.)
Greenfield, on the other hand, is inviting as John, the kind of guy who notices the sad, older lady in the office and decides they can be friends.
There’s no deep lesson here, really. Doris probably isn t an Oscar contender. But its verve and exuberance are worth seeing – and feeling.