It's potentially promising but it all gets smothered in the usual tropes of light contemporary comedy. Field is largely wasted and only Tyne Daly brings any real life to the thing. For a film about ageing, it has depressingly little of substance to say about the subject.
Sally Field brings so much emotional layers that's impossible not to fall in love with her. As a hipster comedy about an old lady that goes into the ElectroPop world of her indie art director work buddie this works beautifuly. Is it innovative? Nope. But it's filled with warmth and soul. Nice meeting you, Doris.
By no means is this a groundbreaking film; its story is old hat, it never really pushes the boundaries, and it suffers from major predictability. That said, this is still the most charming little movie I've seen all year. Sally Field is a beacon of light and she made me feel so strongly for Doris that I was actually hurt when things go wrong for her.
One of those films that owe their modest success to the work of an intelligent cast that generally manages to navigate the troubled waters of a problematic script. Field’s commitment to her character’s dignity is of particular brilliance and admiration, even amongst the most cringe worthy moments. The film peaks in one brilliantly acted sibling confrontation where the actors get a chance to really shine.
A delightfully fun story about a lonely old lady who accidentally becomes the belle of Williamsburg in pursuit of a much younger co-worker. Sally Field's performance is the centerpiece of the film, and she brings it all - physical comedy, difficult heartbreak, and quirky resolve.
The trickiest part is pulling off a fully-realized character study: being empathetic without being too lenient; being sensitive without being too political. And Showalter largely pulls this off - Doris is presented as a real woman with real issues - but neither the character study nor the familiar indie romantic comedy tropes elevates the other.
While this film might have the emotional subtlety of a corny television program, it is a nice and enjoyable little comedy. What really elevates the film is Sally Fields' performance (the first awards-worthy performance I've seen this year). Even when the plot is at its most predictable, she somehow keeps your emotions completely invested in all that is happening, and your sympathy for her character never wavers.
Showalter finally provides consistent yet spontaneous comedic beats to an otherwise near-typical indie script; he really mastered his craft. And, so intelligent is the conceit of the film: because so much of the action takes place in Doris' fantasies, the film offers romantic/sexual/etc. pay-offs without ever needing to actually dedicate its story to the clichés we not-so-secretly desire. (PS. Their chemistry = A+.)