Cast includes: Joyce McKinney
Director: Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line)
Genre: Documentary/Humor (2010)
Joyce McKinney, former Miss Wyoming World, wasn’t looking for just a regular guy. She was determined to find a “special guy.” And why not! Joyce was a cute blond with a great figure and a high IQ… according to Joyce McKinney. In the mid 1970s Joyce met Kirk Anderson… her special guy… not only a dreamboat, he was an upstanding moral person. What Joyce says she didn’t know is that Kirk was in training to become a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka, the Mormons. Joyce tells us about all the plans she and Kirk were making… all the babies they planned to have. (She even tells us their names.) The first hint of trouble was when she met Kirk’s mother, a “350-pound woman wearing a tent dress.” Mrs. Anderson took one look at cute, sexy Joyce and pronounced her unfit to marry her son.
But the real problem came when Kirk disappeared… not that he left town or that he wouldn’t return phone calls… he simply vanished into thin air. So Joyce did what any red-blooded young girl in love would have done… she looked for him. And when she found that he was in England with the Mormon missionaries, she made plans to rescue him. What happened next became fodder for the British tabloids for years. Kirk claims he was kidnapped… Joyce claims she was trying to rescue him. Kirk claims he was forced to have sex… Joyce says that was nonsense. “The guy either wants to have sex or he doesn’t. That’d be like puttin’ a marshmallow in a parking meter.”
You may never have heard of Joyce McKinney because her story wasn’t covered the same way in the US. But the British public couldn’t get enough of the ongoing story. Every time the McKinney story would fade, something new would happen to revive it. It had something for everyone… kidnapping, kinky sex, religion and controversy. Joyce’s theatrics… disguises, wigs and outlandish plots were the icing on the cake. Tabloid feels rather like a suspense thriller in the beginning. But as the plot thickens, we realize that getting to the bottom of this mystery isn’t going to be possible. We hear first-hand accounts from many who were there. And the filmmakers very cleverly use newspaper clippings and old movie footage to evoke the feel of the era. But by the end, the only thing we know for sure is that the McKinney drama was entertaining… and still is. Is Joyce telling the truth? Sometimes. Is she barking mad? Of course she is!
4 popped kernels
Romance, religion, kidnapping and theatrics… the truth is stranger than fiction
Primary Audience: Grown-ups
Gender Appeal: Any audience
Distribution: Art house
Tempo: Cruises comfortably
Visual Style: Unvarnished realism
Character Development: Engaging
Language: True to life
Social Significance: Timely topic & pure entertainment