Hello, My Name is Doris - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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Hello, My Name is Doris - Blu-ray Review

Title: Hello, My Name is Doris


HTS Overall Score:76

Usually a coming of age tales tend to be in a rather young state of age, if you know what I mean. A young man or woman coming into adulthood, or young adulthood, and finding their way into the world. However, not all of us are allowed to find our way until time has turned on the old clock a bit. “Hello, My Name is Doris” is just such a tale. A story of a 60 something year old woman who has spent all of her adult life taking care of her ill, hoarding mother. That is until her recent demise where Doris (Sally Fields) is thrown into the real world WITHOUT any one to take care, or take care of her. With a few wild oats to sew, and a few adventures to embark on, Doris falls in love with a man some 30 years her Jr. and decides to make a go of it, trying to prove that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Doris has always been the good daughter. While her brother Todd (Stephen Root) is off making a life for himself, Doris has agreed for the last several decades to take care of their aging mother who can’t really take care of herself. Their mother was a bit of a hoarder, and with some mental issues and failing health that means that ONE of them had to stay around be the one to sacrifice their life. Sadly that was Doris, but after her mother finally passes away, Doris is left with the realization that she has never truly lived. To make matters worse she is slowly turning INTO the very person that she took care of for so long. While Doris has worked at the same job for over 30 years, she has devoted her life to one person, and with that one person gone, there is an emptiness to fill, and self-discovery to be made.

This self-discovery is kick started when Doris gets a crush on the new, hunky, Art manager at her company named John (Max Greenfield). Crush soon turns way into full blown desire after a self-help guru encourages the aging woman to follow her dreams. While it definitely is not love at first sight, Doris and John form an odd sort of friendship as Doris steps out of her bubble and into his in an effort to expand her horizons. Soon the two of them are going to electronic dub-step concerts, eating coffee with hipsters, and a myriad of other things. The only thing is, John STILL doesn’t have any idea that Doris is head over heels in love with him.

I really REALLY was rather leery of the movie when I went in. The concept is a bit odd, but definitely workable, but the opening 20 minutes just made me wince even more. Michael Showalter is known for his quirky takes on traditional storytelling (I mean this IS the man who starred and wrote “Wet Hot American Summer), but “Hello, My Name is Doris” seemed to REALLY follow traditional rom com stereotypes. That is until Doris and John actually go to the convert together where the tradition started to fall away and I realized that there was more than meets the eye here. A dramedy is tough thing to pull off, but Showalter manages to blend the traditional, with a little bit of fantasy, as well harsh reality into the situations. Doris is seen as both a tragic and endearing character. Tragic in the sense that she is going after something that very well may not love her back, but endearing in the fact that she is completely and unabashedly going for LIFE. Defying conventions she wants to be accepted, loved and love in return, something we all want in our lives. The problem just stems from the fact that she’s on the downward side of the bell curve that is life and defying traditional statstics.

There are times where you’re literally hiding behind your hands wondering “oh dear, when is that other shoe going to drop”? But that is also the joy of the film. Not one point in the film did I ever feel like it was telegraphed one way or the other how John and Doris’s relationship was going to end up. You see her excitement and her exuberance, but you know that John doesn’t have a clue and that most likely he will NOT end up falling for her too. Yet at the same time you’re rooting for her the entire way, and there are just enough bread crumbs left along the way to keep you from despairing completely. Sally Fields has a way of playing quirky side characters, but here she is allowed to shine as both a quirky character AND as a loveable romantic heroine. Max Greenfield is solid in his role, but this story is really ALL about Doris and her late in life coming of age tale, and that is where the central focus of the characterization lies.


Rated R for language

This is a great looking 1080p encode from Sony pictures, and definitely in line with modern digital photography. The color spectrum is warm and natural, with a slight push toward the white end of the spectrum. Doris and her wildly colored clothes are a stand out as she shows off more reds, blues and yellows than anything else in the film. Wood textures and clothing show off fantastic detailing, allowing you to see the individual wood grains in the table, and Sally’s field’s aging face is not hidden by any digital manipulation as is so common in films today. Black levels remain strong and deeply black, but there IS a slight gauzy look to the movie that keeps it from being 100% razor sharp.

Sony has lately started putting not one, but TWO lossless track on their discs, and “Hello, My Name is Doris” follows in those footsteps. As well as the traditional DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in English, there is a matching French track with the same lossless encoding, although I will only be reviewing the English track today as my French is a bit rusty. “Hello, My Name is Doris” is a dramedy, and as such it’s definitely a front heavy, dialog centric experience. The vocals are always crisp and clean, though, offering balanced dialog and solid front sound stage replication. There are a few more robust scenes in the movie, such as the concert and some instances where Doris and John are walking through down town New York where the buzz and furor of the city is a bit more encompassing. It’s not a wildly dynamic track, but the 5.1 experience is impressive enough and certainly has no other “faults” than being a dramedy.


• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Audio Commentary with co-writer/director Michael Showalter


“Hello, My Name is Doris” turned out to be a delightfully invigorating dramedy that really took me by surprise. Michael Showalter’s name actually went right over my head when I requested to review the film, but I’m glad I didn’t actually register the name in my mind as his normal film making style is completely at odds with the mental image I would have gone in with, and the “blank slate”, so to speak, really allowed me to enjoy the film in a way that wasn’t hampered by expectations. The plot has a few dips, and there’s a few wince worthy moments (pretty much par for the course with a Michael Showalter film), but it is adorably cute and has just enough reality in it to be a well-rounded film without falling off the romantic fluff cliff. The audio and video are great. Right in line with most modern new releases in the genre, and the commentary is well worth the price of admission alone, as Showalter and crew have a lot of fun in it. Recommended.

Additional Information:

Starring: Sally Fields, Tyne Daly, Max Greenfield
Directed by: Michael Showalter
Written by: Laura Terruso, Michael Showalter
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Sony
Rated: R
Runtime: 90 minutes (theatrical)
Blu-ray Release Date: June 14th 2016

Buy Hello, My Name is Doris On Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Recommended

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