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As one of America’s most treasured actresses Sally Field is an icon. Having two Oscars -both for dramas- it’s easy to forget that this is a woman who came from comedy. Breaking onto the scene with charming TV roles in Gidget, and The Flying Nun, to holding her own with Burt Reynolds in Smoky and the Bandit, Field knows her way around comedy. It’s a shame that seasoned actresses like her very rarely get to explore comedy later in their career. Her new film Hello, My Name is Doris with director Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer) rediscovers this comedic timing that had once captured audiences hearts.

The film’s set up could have been the making of an unbearable screwball comedy. When we meet Doris Miller she has just lost her mother, whom she’s lived and cared for nearly her entire life. In the cluttered house she shared with her late mother, Doris finds herself alone with nobody to care for, but herself. After Doris attends a self-help seminar with her best friend Roz (a hilarious Tyne Daly) it inspires her to romantically pursue a younger co-worker named John (Max Greenfield). With the help of Roz’s granddaughter Doris sets up a fake Facebook profile to find more about John’s interests.

Soon Doris is listening to his favorite indie bands to find some common ground to talk about at the office. Quickly John begins to take an interest in Doris as a friend. He soon introduces her to all of his hipster New York City friends, who immediately take a liking to Doris’s quirky charm. How carefree hipster culture, and Doris’s older wisdom is particularly clever how they’re juxtaposed. Soon Doris has become the new staple of John’s friend group where she’s welcomed with open arms.

In what could have been a groan inducing All About Steve set up of a kooky spinster trying to pursue her dream man the movie thankfully never takes a wrong step. Field’s the type of actress that elevates any material, and it’s definitely her movie. She gives a performance here that’s incredibly moving. She doesn’t play Doris so much like a neurotic kook, but more as a woman who’s rediscovered life’s passion.

The movie is able to be warm, funny, and yes at times a bit awkward. The script never shies away from the realness of the situation that Doris has found herself in. Particularly when Doris more or less tries to sabotage John’s relationship with his new girl friend Brooklyn (a charming Beth Behrs). Field has some great dramatic moments that reveal see what’s going on inside of Doris’s head. One of my favorites involves her telling John of a past love that slipped away years before. The look on Field’s face in the scene is a one of both heartbreak, and disappointment of life’s plan for her. This isn’t a woman who’s used to talking about her feelings, particularly with someone so much younger than her. It’s a perfectly nuanced performance that is never afraid to cut deep.

This isn’t Showalter’s first time behind the camera. He directed The Baxter back in 2005, and has dozens of writing credits that include Wet Hot American Summer and They Came Together. This movie feels a little more grown up, and character driven for the writer/director this time around. The comedic tone is like something almost out of a Mike White movie. Where the comedy isn’t afraid to go into a more a somber, and awkward direction. With Field has Showalter’s muse Hello, My Name is Doris is a touching little film that almost sneaks up on you with its sincerity.