You know when you want to take a break from writing or life and are looking for films to watch, preferably light-hearted romance, you get the drift? So there I was on Amazon prime and I found Hello, My Name is Doris(HMNID). It stars Sally Field. You know the 70-year old acting legend Sally Field. Academy award winner and someone I admire as much as Meryl Streep. If not more. I mean honestly, Sally Field didn’t get the roles Meryl did. And to be offensively fair to her, she doesn’t have the beauty of Streep. But when it comes to acting, particularly comedy with a human touch — she aces it.
Anyway. Coming back to the film, HMNID is the story of a sixty something spinster Doris Miller, who has lived with her mother, all her life. When her mother passes away, she is left at the crossroads. There’s her brother and his wife, who want her to get rid of the clutter she has been hoarding over the years and sell the house. And on the other hand, there’s love — that she has never experienced. A love that she reads about in romantic novels. A love that she couldn’t embrace fully because she had to take care of her mother. A responsibility her brother agreed on her taking up so he could build his life.
Doris works. She does data entry in an office where no one seems to care about the weirdly (and brightly) dressed oldie. But before you write Doris off as the cat lady, you should know Doris ain’t alone. She has a good friend, a feisty widow named Roz whose 13 year old granddaughter becomes Doris’ dating advisor, when she gets smitten by the new young art director in office.
Doris’ life ( and the film) pretty much after that is about her pursuing the man she loves. Despite the mammoth age difference. Despite Roz’s warnings. Despite it all. And in doing so, she’s motivated by a shallow self-help guru who says absurd stuff like: Impossible means I’m possible.
That’s how much I’m gonna tell ya. You gotta watch the movie to find what Doris does and how she ends up.
But I’m definitely gonna tell you why I picked this film. Simple, because of the trailer. Trailer’s are so important in film promotion, marketing and on deciding the fate of the film. You remember Queen starring Kangana Ranaut. The trailer made us watch the film. Of course the reviews and word of mouth helped. But most of us were floored by what we saw in the trailer. We knew that this film wasn’t just another Bollywood film with nach-gaana, romance and action. This film is different. And the rest of course is cinematic history.
So here’s why you must watch Hello, My Name is Doris.
- Doris. Played by the acting maestro Sally Field. Just like Queen, the central character in the film is damn powerful. The magnetic pull of the character lies in her vulnerability and fallibility. She is all too human and hence highly relatable. Anyone who has been in love will get her. Anyone who has been smitten by another will understand Doris.
- Love. A woman in love, rather an old woman in love is not mainstream or common. It might be gross to some. Or unacceptable. Nevertheless, it is only human to fall in love. And can age ever be more than just a number?
- Treatment. I love the way this film was shot. There are no excesses. No melodrama or slapstick humour. It’s a love story. And a romantic comedy which is fresh, quirky and funny. Quite a feat to attain these days, when most Hollywood romantic films seem to follow a carved-in-stone, uninspired and stale template. This film doesn’t redefine the template but it does bring in moments that feel real and life-like.
Doris has a spark. So does the film. In fact, I’m quite certain that she will remind you of your weird aunt who you thought was misunderstood. Or your granny, who was the first to dance in family functions. Or giggle at your jokes.