Friday, February 03, 2023


PAMELA: A LOVE STORY is a fascinating documentary in which Pamela Anderson tells her life story in her own terms. This is of renewed fascination given the recent miniseries Pam & Tommy, which Pamela obviously resents and is triggered by - correct use of phrase there.  

We begin with Pamela as a young girl in Canada, with really haunting revelations of her being abused by her babysitter and then raped as schoolgirl. She gets on a bus to America and finds herself being photographed nude for Playboy and apparently loving it - feeling in control and baring all on her terms. She then famously meets and marries the rock drummer Tommy Lee, gets pregnant and is living in newlywed bliss when some schmuck steals and sells their home videos cut for all the dirty bits.  This is so evidently a violation as to be shocking decades later and it clearly radically impacted Pamela - from her losing her first child, to fearing the loss of her second, to being verbally abused on the stand when she tries to sue for exploitation.  Effectively the defense argues she's a slut so she doesn't deserve protection. She settles just to protect her health and that of her unborn child.

This is the end of Pamela as we knew her.  She becomes a joke and unemployable beyond schlock self-pastiching cameos. She largely disappears from public view and into a series of marriages to unsuitable men, but always searching for romance and true love. What's amazing is seeing how apparently well-adjusted her kids are, and how close and loving they all are, and apparently how well she has co-parented with Tommy Lee.  It's also shocking to see how naive she seems about money and just the nature of being in a business as exploitative as show. There's something almost wonderful and admirable in her ability to just keep on getting back up and putting herself out there, most recently as a guest star in Chicago on Broadway.  Overall, I was just really thankful to get this time with her, and have the real story behind the miniseries, which I now view in an entirely different light.

PAMELA: A LOVE STORY has a running time of 112 minutes.

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