FLICKS: With a busy weekend at the box office, Hello, My Name is Doris shines

Posted on 24 March 2016 by LeslieM

flicks032416By the time people read this column, many will know who won the Batman v. Superman fight this Easter weekend. There is no denying the marketing juggernaut that DC Comics and Warner Brothers studios have created to compete with the Marvel/Disney comic book franchise. While Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is expected to dominate the box office, it will be the execution of story, character development and visual imagery that will determine the sustainability of the DC Comic book franchise.

There are many “human” alternatives to this comic book option. Having premiered at the Palm Beach International Film Festival 14 years ago, My Big Fat Greek Wedding changed the box office paradigm for independent film distribution. Writer and lead actress Nia Vardalos and her Big Fat Greek Wedding ensemble cast return this weekend for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.

The documentary Look at Us Now, Mother! expands this weekend at local theaters. The dysfunctional family pain is real, yet the theme of forgiveness is very appropriate this holiday weekend.

The most fun movie on the big screen this weekend is Hello, My Name is Doris. As the title character, Sally Field is getting her best notices as a leading lady since the 1980s. We have all met someone like “Doris” before, but Field adds depth to create a well-rounded character. Only an actress of Field’s caliber can balance the broad and subtle nuances of a truthful performance.

Doris is a frumpy gal who has lived too many years with her mother, who has recently departed. While taking an elevator ride to the office, she bumps up against artist John Fremont (Max Greenfield). Despite being three times John’s age, Doris feels a stirring in her womanhood. With subtle shades of Harold and Maude, My Name is Doris contains broad comedy in dream sequences.

Like a good episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, this film acknowledges pain. Screenwriters Laura Terruso and Michael Showalter (who also directed) use the pain to set up the punch line, which acts as a cathartic release. One golden moment features the nerdy Doris trying to dance to modern music. At first, she is stiff and awkward; but, by the end of the scene, Doris finds her beat and her mojo.

As I write this column, news of the Brussels terrorist attacks is unfolding. Say a prayer and find some soul refuge this Easter. There is plenty of escapism that can be found at your local movie theater this weekend. Make it a great Easter!

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