Pamela: A Love Story

Where I Watched It: Netflix

English Audio Description?: Yes

Normally, I have concerns about projects produced by living people about themselves. They create their own narrative, and it can be exactly whatever they want it to be. If they want to hide a drug addiction, an assault, an affair, or even just how they behave around others, they have that freedom to do so. often, the best projects are made from a combination of both how the subject felt about themselves, mixed with how others in their life remember them and react to them.

But, sometimes, a documentary is honest enough that I feel like we got a mostly true and accurate reflection. Pamela Anderson, who was against the making of Hulu’s Pam and Tommy, is given the opportunity to control her narrative here almost in response to how that project perceived her. She is very opinionated and includes a very wide range of topics, from before she was famous, until today. I think this is the story she wanted told, and even though it leaves out some things, like her public support for Julian Assange. I suppose even some things she was OK with leaving on the cutting room floor.

Because someone else told her story when she asked them not to, I’m fine with Netflix giving Pamela Anderson the latitude to make her own film. It’s a decent documentary, and I’ve always thought the hate for Anderson was silly. She deserved as much of a shot as Jenny McCarthy, who Hollywood seemed to, and still does, take seriously. Yet for some reason, Anderson was a joke. I never got that.

The audio description here is a supporting player, since in between footage, Pamela narrates this as if she was reading from a diary. So, the audio description comes in when it can. This really isn’t a talking head doc either, which is the format that bothers me the most. in that format, I always want to know who is speaking as we navigate through a large amount of interviewees for that project. Here, there’s almost none of that. Pam just wants to talk, and coming out of a year where we proudly applauded She Said and Women Talking, I think it’s about time to let her.

Final Grade: B+

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