FOR THE LOVE OF DOLLY (Tai Uhlmann, U.S.). 56 minutes. Monday (May 21), 4:45 pm, Isabel Bader. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Tai Uhlmann's in-depth look at five Dolly Parton devotees whose fandom verges on insanity reveals the sobering stories behind true fanatics' deep connection with a beloved celebrity icon.
Bookended by scenes of Parton's annual appearance at the parade that marks the grand opening of Dollywood every year, For The Love Of Dolly introduces a diverse group of misfits linked by little besides their shared love of the Tennessee songbird.
Life partners Harrell and Patric are Tennessee Williams-worthy Southern gents who bid the cash they earn from Harrell's handmade Dolly dolls on Dolly memorabilia at auctions. David has cerebral palsy; according to his parents, the young man's in-person meeting with the singer turned his life around. Melisa insists Dolly's songs helped her survive childhood trauma. Jeanette built a replica of Dolly's Tennessee Mountain Home in her mom's back yard. Even more remarkable than Parton's own honest connection with her fans (she remembers David's name and Jeanette's dogs) is the fact that Uhlmann manages to portray these curious characters in a compassionate and non-exploitative light.