Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. Red Crown Productions, Haven Entertainment, Frame Switch. USA, 2015. Screenplay by Laura Terruso, Michael Showalter, based on the short film Doris & The Intern by Laura Terruso. Cinematography by Brian Burgoyne. Produced by Daniel Crown, Kevin Mann, Riva Marker, Jordana Mollick, Daniela Taplin Lundberg. Music by Brian H. Kim. Production Design by Melanie Jones. Costume Design by Rebecca Gregg. Film Editing by Robert Nassau. National Board of Review Awards 2016.
Kooky and adorable Doris (Sally Field) has just lost her mother and is being pressured by her brother and his enterprising wife to sell the family home so they can get their payout on it. She commutes into the city every day to a dull data entry job, her position a holdover from the company’s earlier generations, the youngsters unable to relate to her as she ticks away in her cat-calendar-walled cubicle. When she spots a new executive (Max Greenfield) and falls for his dreamy eyes, she begins an obsession with him that she decides to pursue after attending a self-help seminar that tells her to go for what she believes in. From there begins a series of cringeworthy situations in which Field, who as an actor somehow manages to not embarrass herself, is being directed by a filmmaker who thinks he’s a hero for making a movie about a mature woman’s sexuality but is clearly grossed out by the subject at the same time. What Field’s character actually learns or achieves for herself in the process of this late-life coming of age experience is never explored to satisfaction, we’re mainly just treated to a feeling of relief that she stops being so pathetic about a cute guy. Tyne Daly has some wonderful moments as her best friend, and a sequence in which Field and Greenfield attend an electronic music concert in Brooklyn is marvelous, but between the disdain for the main character and the relentless jabs at hipster culture that are angrily coming from behind the camera, this is an impossible movie to sit through.