Ever since Sally Field exclaimed, “You like me, right now, you like me!” during her Oscar acceptance speech for Places in the Heart, that oft-misquoted line has become shorthand for the ultimate humblebrag. Yet she was speaking the truth. Few could've predicted that the Flying Nun would become a two-time Academy Award winner. Michael Showalter’s Hello, My Name Is Doris banks on that mix of insecurity and charm to winning, if discomforting, effect.
As Doris, Field looks like a 1960s librarian with her cat-eye glasses and messy updo. After her mother dies, it’s just Doris, her cat, and her friend Roz (Tyne Daly) until an electrifying encounter in an elevator with coworker John (New Girl’s Max Greenfield) expands the perimeters of her world.
There are two ways Showalter could play this: (1) Doris and John develop a surrogate mother-son dynamic, or (2) Doris pursues an impossible romance with a man half her age. Showalter toggles between the two until Doris attends an EDM concert where she becomes an icon to millennials who dig her offbeat fashion sense.
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have real problems—she just lacks the motivation to face them. What starts out as Harold and Maude by way of Marvin's Room ends like a John Hughes tale with an ever-so-slightly older heroine.