I saw Hello, My Name is Doris tonight, and boy was it interesting. I don’t know why I’d never thought of it before, but this film is ground-breaking in one key way: it has, as its lead character, an older single woman who exhibits symptoms of mental illness who isn’t weird, isn’t just sad because she couldn’t get a man. She has depth, she’s relatable, and you find yourself routing for her.
There were two key parts of the film that I found hit close to home. The first is that her feelings cause her to make some key poor choices. The second is that she was very real in how she got overwhelmed when you could see that everything that was important to her at that time came crumbling down and she’s being judged by selfish people who pretend to be supportive… but are not. Both of these things hit pretty close to home for me, and I really found it neat that the film showed how those play into the very strong sense of anxiety that accompanies people under tremendous social stress, and it warmed my heart that the film showed this as the obvious outcome of the stress rather than a person acting weird and out of a norm.
I think that there were some parts of the film which were a little too forced. The love story in the film was very heavy-handed, and that part was weird. It was easily overcome by the frequent comedy breaks, though.
It’s nice to see that Sally Field can still surprise the hell out of me. For the most part, I enjoyed this movie. It was a different way of enjoying a movie than usual – I found it more useful for framing life and its events than entertaining – but I really did find it enjoyable. My girlfriend laughed a bunch, too, and she’s a kinda picky about movie comedy. I think you may enjoy this film as well, and I hope that you also walk away thinking differently about mental health in film.