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Michael Showalter
Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Tyne Daly, Natasha Lyonne
Writing Credits:
Laura Terruso and Michael Showalter

A self-help seminar inspires a sixty-something woman to romantically pursue her younger co-worker.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$84,985 on 4 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $26.99
Release Date: 6/14/2016

• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Michael Showalter
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Hello, My Name Is Doris [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 5, 2016)

As a Woman of a Certain Age, Sally Field stopped getting lead roles a good decade ago. Though Field still appears in major films like Lincoln and Amazing Spider-Man, she now finds herself in supporting parts.

Field gets to enjoy her first lead in years via 2016’s Hello, My Name Is Doris. After her elderly mother passes, 60-something Doris Miller (Field) finds herself adrift. Never married, she fits the stereotype of the “crazy cat lady” who lacks social skills.

Doris’ life starts to change during a chance encounter with John Fremont (Max Greenfield), a new employee at the firm where she works. Though John is decades younger, Doris immediately becomes smitten with her handsome, charming co-worker.

Matters seem unlikely to go anywhere until Doris’ friend Roz (Tyne Daly) takes her to hear motivational speaker Willy Williams (Peter Gallagher). Doris takes his message to heart and decides to become a more active participant in her life – and that involves an attempt to charm John.

When I saw trailers for Name, I rolled my eyes. Based on those ads, it seemed to provide a cloying, artificially “life-affirming” experience that I figured would annoy me to no end.

So why did the Blu-ray wind up in my player? Because Name received fairly good reviews, so I thought it might offer something more engaging than the cheesy “inspirational” fare I feared.

And it did – to a degree. When I learned that Michael Showalter co-wrote and directed Name, I felt more optimistic, -as he comes from the comedy genre. Granted, I didn’t like movies like Wet Hot American Summer, but at least his background seemed likely to subvert Name’s mushy and sentimental tendencies.

Showalter manages to undercut some of the movie’s gooey elements, but he seems unsure what direction he prefers to follow. At times, Showalter leans toward parody, but on other occasions, he opts for a more standard drama.

This makes Name something between an earnest inspirational tale and a spoof. For instance, the film’s dichotomy appears prominently when Doris and Roz attend Williams’ seminar. On one hand, the film paints Williams as a glib, superficial snake oil peddler more concerned with the movement of merchandise than with the help of clients, but on the other, we see how Williams’ techniques and advice aid Doris.

The same form of split personality affects much of Name. Should we laugh at Doris or love her? Do we buy into her quest or poke fun at it? In the end, the movie leans toward the sincere side of the street, but it remains unsure of its focus much of the time.

While I’d prefer the story to take on a tighter tone, I do appreciate its mild attempts at satire. As noted earlier, I went into Name with the expectation that it’d offer the sappiest of tales, so I greet its attempts at humor with appreciation.

Even if a lot of those gags whack at low-hanging fruit. Many of Name’s gags poke fun at pretentious Brooklyn hipsters, and as predictable as this trend may be, it does offer amusement.

I just wish Name attempted a broader stab at parody than it does. While the movie flirts with mockery at times, it follows the sentimental path too much of the time.

Still, the movie’s slightly irreverent tone gives it a smidgen of edge and makes it more enjoyable than I expected. That may sound like faint praise – because it is – but Name still comes with moderate entertainment.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

Hello, My Name Is Doris appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though not stellar, this was a mostly positive presentation.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. Occasional slightly soft shots popped up, but those failed to occur with any frequency, so the majority of the flick demonstrated appropriate delineation. No shimmering or jaggies occurred, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws.

Colors tended to be a little muted and slightly stylized, but not to the extreme one often gets from modern movies. The flick went with a light teal/orange orientation, but nothing extreme. Overall, the hues seemed positive. Blacks appeared firm and deep, while low-light shots demonstrated nice clarity. The image seemed satisfactory.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it offered a decent effort and not much more. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy/drama, and I got mostly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day, though a few sequences added a little pizzazz – especially during the nightclub scene.

In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, and speech displayed no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a standard “comedy mix” without much to stand out from the crowd.

Only a few extras pop up here, and we get an audio commentary from co-writer/director Michael Showalter. He offers a running, screen-specific look at the film's origins and development, story/character areas, sets and locations, costumes, music, cast and performances, and related subjects.

Overall, Showalter presents a fairly average commentary. While he touches on a good array of topics, the chat never becomes especially involving. Still, Showalter covers enough film material to make the track acceptably worthwhile.

16 Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of 25 minutes, five seconds. These allow us to get a longer glimpse of Doris’ life before her mother dies, and we also see more of Doris with her therapist. Supporting characters receive additional screentime/exposition, and added comedic beats appear. Some mildly interesting bits emerge, but I can’t say many seem memorable.

The disc opens with ads for The Meddler, Grandma, The Bronze, Emma’s Chance, The Driftless Area and Dear Eleanor. These reappear under Previews. No trailer for Name shows up here.

Can a movie surpass expectations but still not be especially good? Yes, and that’s the category into which Hello, My Name Is Doris falls. It works better than anticipated but still fails to turn into something particularly strong. The Blu-ray offers generally good picture and audio as well as a few bonus features. Name fares better than I thought it would be remains a mediocre film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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