I remember when Sally Field was doing the talk show circuit for this film. I wanted to see it then and I'm glad I finally got around to it.
This film is so much more than what you'd expect it to be. There are times when you will laugh out loud and other times when you will be near tears for Doris, and other times when you will want to shake her.
Most of all you will feel sorry for her.
She's a woman of a certain age. I'd say Doris' age is close to Field's own, 69. She's spent her life taking care of her mother and when her mom passes, she seems to have nothing, until the hunky new art director shows up.
Doris crushes on him really hard. Yet in a total round about and totally schoolgirl fashion, he becomes are friend.
Doris is so awkward and beautifully played by Field. There are times when you can see the young Gidget emerging in Doris, especially when she is listening to the electronic band John likes for the first time. I loved her quirky fashion sense. It seemed to suit Sally really well.
She makes some horrible choices too that mess things up for the people that she cares about. That's when you will feel the most sorry for her. She's given up a lot in her life. Her mother is a hoarder, she's a hoarder, though that aspect of her life doesn't play as it should considering. She's discovering life for the first time since she was a very young woman.
Max Greenfield plays John perfectly, humoring the older lady, however he's the one character I really could have slapped. No guy could have been as clueless to Doris' feelings as he was. She was pretty obvious in her feelings from the start.
The best parts, and the funniest parts of the film deal with Doris' fantasies about John.
The other character that you will love is Roz, played by Tyne Daley. She is brilliant. She's the type of friend you want to have.
The film itself needed more though. It was an hour and thirty five minutes long, and the characters really were the kind that you liked a lot. I wanted to know more, especially about Doris. We only got snippets about her past, when she talked to John at the diner and when her brother and his nasty wife (played by Wendi McLendon Covey) scheduled an intervention about the hoarding and about the house she lived in.
The ending is rather bittersweet. There's not much in the way of closure for the characters, but it left you feeling proud of Doris that she was going to make her way in the world, at last.
The one thing you will take away from this film is that Sally Field is really a great actress of the caliber of Meryl Streep.