Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Week 31: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

In a word, how does one describe the late Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner?


She is 100% certifiably crazy. But oh how I love her. I dare anyone to watch this delightful little documentary about Tammy Faye and not walk away simply adoring the woman. She’s like that retarded little inbred Chihuahua that became popular a few years ago. A complete train wreck, hideously cute and certainly shy of a few key brain lobes, but otherwise loveable.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is narrated by RuPaul Charles. Yes, THAT RuPaul. And each segment is set up by a pair of deluded sock puppets, so you know I was loving it right from the start. To say that the documentary was one-sided is like saying that Jim Bakker is a little bit corrupt. It paints Tammy Faye as a total victim and a near-saint, but you can’t help finding all that okay. She BELIEVES she was 100% innocent and the documentary doesn’t try to hard to disavow her of her beliefs.

The film doesn’t dig too deep but it does give you a nice overview of her rise and fall. We were left wondering just how destitute Tammy Faye really was in her final years. She lived in what appeared to be a cheap apartment filled with QVC seconds, but at the same time drove around a Jaguar. It does seem a perfect metaphor for her contradicting personalities: humble Christian servant and over-the-top materialistic juggernaut.

We both loved the film even for all its shallow faults. If you don’t love it too I’d dare say you’re probably Jerry Falwell.

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