From time to time I kick myself for not having HBO – today was one of those days. A few weeks ago I added Bernard and Doris to my Netflix queue. Some where I read it was a comedy and starred Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes. It sounded like a winner to me. Who could go wrong with those three elements and it was an HBO film to boot. It was wonderful, but it wasn’t a comedy. It could have been done as a comedy without the main characters being named Doris Duke and Bernard Lafferty, Duke’s butler and eventually the executor of her estate. Since the film was loosely based on Doris Duke’s relationship with her butler and the growth of that relationship, it wasn’t funny. Instead, it was a finely-crafted story of two tragic characters who find companionship with each other.
As expected, Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes were great as Doris Duke and Bernard Lafferty. It was a couple hours well spent.