Tabloid
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People will do some pretty crazy things for love. They’ll change their hair, get a different job, or even move to a different country. But, no matter how love struck they may be, not many people will go quite as far as former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney did for the man of her dreams.

In his stranger-than-fiction documentary, Tabloid, director Errol Morris tells Joyce’s story—or, actually, a number of different versions of Joyce’s story. Joyce herself tells a story of love at first sight—of going to college in Utah and meeting a young Mormon named Kirk Anderson. The two immediately fell in love—and, after just a couple of days, Kirk had proposed. Just as they were beginning to plan their dream wedding, though, Kirk disappeared.

Joyce’s desperate search to reconnect with the love of her life eventually led her to England, where Kirk was doing missionary work. And that’s where the story gets a little…strange. According to Joyce, she broke Kirk away from his Mormon captors, and they shared one wonderful weekend together before he was forced to return. According to just about everyone else, on the other hand, Kirk’s escape was more of a kidnapping, for which Joyce was eventually arrested.

  
 
Though it’s mostly just talking heads—along with some carefully-chosen video and artistically-placed stock footage—there’s nothing dull or monotonous about Tabloid. Joyce’s story (in all of its various versions) is a fascinating one, made all the more intriguing by Joyce herself.

Cute and perky and often so sweet and childlike, Joyce is completely open about her story—or at least the story as she sees it. It’s clear that she’s convinced that she did nothing wrong—and though you’ll often wonder whether she’s sincere or just plain crazy, she’s so charming and charismatic that you can help but be captivated by every uncanny twist of her story.

The real story, meanwhile, remains a mystery. Was it really a kidnapping? Was Joyce really criminally insane? Or was she just trying to help the man she loved (and still loves today, decades later) break away from some kind of cult? With various participants, journalists, and outsiders giving their own take on the situation—often while providing some interesting views of Mormonism and its theology—it’s hard to say what really happened all those years ago. But it’s such a bizarre story—one that seems to get more bizarre with each passing moment—that you’ll find yourself completely caught up in its telling.

Really, Tabloid is a simple film—just a bunch of interviews and stock photography. But you don’t need flashy effects or big-budget action when you’ve got such fascinating characters relating such a fantastic real-life adventure. Joyce’s tabloid-worthy love story easily stands on its own.

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