Heya, Tiffany, Jeff’s your #1 fan.
I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW (Sean Donnelly). 80 minutes. Opens Monday (December 1) at the Bloor. For times, see Indie & Rep listings. Rating: NNN
There's something very disturbing about I Think We're Alone Now, a documentary about 80s pop tart Tiffany's two most obsessed fans.
Jeff is 52 and has been stalking the singer for 20 years. He has Asperger's syndrome and spends every penny of his disability cheque on concert tickets. (Who knew Tiffany still performed?) He communicates with her telepathically using a bike helmet and some jumper cables and believes her Playboy pictorial was really her way of declaring her love and devotion to him. He proudly shows off the restraining order she filed against him after he tried to give her a bouquet of flowers and a samurai sword.
Kelly is an intersex 31-year-old from a broken home who was raised as a girl by mom and a boy by dad. A bike accident put her in a coma at 16, and the first thing she heard when she came out of it was a Tiffany song. While she's never met Tiffany, Kelly's sure they're meant to be together.
While their obsession is bizarre (I mean, Tiffany? Really?!) and alternately creepy and cringe-worthy, the truly disturbing aspect of the film is the way it feels both exploitive and dismissive.
Both Jeff and Kelly have serious psychological issues. Yet their stalker activities are portrayed as harmless, even humorous at times, in a "look at the freaks!" kind of way. Never mind that I could easily imagine Jeff going all Mark David Chapman at one of Tiffany's concerts.
Ultimately, though, this is a portrait of two sad, lonely unwell adults. It's worthy of being seen, even if the filmmaker isn't always well-intentioned.