Some of us feel more comfortable in our own skin than others do. They know their own sense of style, their own values, what makes them happy and more. These people may be happier than those around them for that very reason but often there’s still something lurking under the surface that may speak to their discontent. They may be happy but that’s sometimes because they haven’t taken the time or the effort to change their circumstances. It’s not that they’re necessarily stuck in a rut, but “blissfully unaware” is a very real thing.
Enter the new movie Hello, My Name Is Doris. Sally Field plays the title character Doris, a woman who lives a comfortable life with her best friend of..well…the kinds of leisure activities two ladies who don’t have a whole lot going on engage in. Doris works at an ad firm and one day a new art director John (Max Greenfield) joins, which quickly sets Doris’ imagination into overdrive as she fantasizes about a romantic relationship with him. Striking up a friendship based on some light internet stalking Doris enters more of John’s world, which threatens to undermine the stability of the life she’s already leading.
We get a good sense of both the movie’s setting and the main character on the first and only poster. Fields’ Doris is seen poking her head above a bland grey cubicle wall, coffee cup in hand. Below the title treatment the copy reads “She’s not ready to act her age” so it’s clear we’re dealing with someone who has some personality quirks.
It’s not the most exciting poster in the world. But it does setup the movie pretty well, even if the tone is a bit more subdued than the trailer.
The first trailer is kind of cute. We meet Doris, who’s in a comfortable life with her best friend and roommate. She has a job at…an ad firm maybe?… and one day has a chance encounter with a younger man who turns out to be the agency’s new art director and who she immediately has a crush on. Her flirtations with him lead her into all sorts of new adventures as she tries to impress him as she goes to clubs and so on. All of this, of course, leads to conflict with her longtime friend, who can’t understand what she’s doing or why she’s doing it and feels a bit abandoned.
Field’s performance really shines her as she brings her own considerable charm, as well as her objective talent, to the story of someone who’s exploring a new chapter in her life. The trailer sets up the story pretty thoroughly and you can see where it’s going, but this makes it look like a fun ride.
Online and Social
The trailer pops up and plays when you load the official website. Close that and the first section of content that’s available is the “Synopsis,” which explains the movie’s plot and what is going to drive Doris’ actions in the story.
“Reviews” has excerpts from early positive reviews of the movie, complete with links to the full stories.You can find out about the people who made the movie in the “Cast & Crew” section, which includes decent career histories of of those involved, including writer/director Michael Showalter.
There are about eight stills from the movie in the “Gallery” and then there’s another link to the “Trailer.”
The movie’s Facebook page is filled with nice shots and other media of Field, Greenfield and others along with links to some of the press coverage has received. Same goes for Twitter while Instagram just has the photos and short videos.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing on either count.
Media and Publicity
When the trailer debuted Field talked about the movie and what drew her to the character as well as some about her career in general. Field kept talking to the press about those topics in interviews like this that also covered how she found the role and came to know Showalter and work with him on developing the character. Greenfiled also talked about the role in the movie and what it was like to work with Field in this kind of capacity. There was also some press with Showalter about his development of the movie and working with a group of actors he had no experience with, unlike some of his other projects with other members of Stella and The State.
I don’t know. I like the trailer a lot and want to like the campaign as a whole more than I do. I can’t help but think though that it never really hits the beats it needs to in order to reach a target audience that I’m honestly I’m unsure of. Which is to say I’m not sure who the audience here is. It’s not quite right for reaching the hardcore indie audience but it’s too narrow for a general audience too. So I just don’t know what group this is meant to appeal to.
The campaign sells a movie that’s funny in a gentle way. Field obviously goes for broke in her performance, though we can obviously have a conversation about how she’s asked to dress down and look even older than she actually is for the role. But it looks like a touching, sweet movie that tells a story about being true to yourself while also taking risks and going outside your comfort zone. That’s a story that many of us, regardless of age or gender, can likely relate to. If that’s what’s actually behind the campaign, count me in.