Obsession with celebrities is something we have all experienced. Whether it’s scribbling “Mrs. Jonathan Taylor Thomas” on every inch of a notebook or writing absurd fan fictions about the members of One Direction, we have all participated in some form of celebrity obsession. But what happens when a celebrity obsession is taken to the extreme? Sean Donnelly’s 2008 documentary I Think We’re Alone Now focuses on two individuals that have an excessive obsession with Tiffany. Yes, Tiffany, the teen pop sensation from the 1980s. Jeff Turner (age 50) and Kelly McCormick (age 35) are both very bizarre individuals that share an unconditional love for Tiffany. She is more than a fantasy girlfriend or celebrity crush; she is their God. Tiffany ultimately consumes their lives.
When I first watched this documentary, I couldn’t help but find humor in the quirky lives of these two super fans. Turner’s peculiar laugh while he explains how Tiffany previously placed a restraining order on him made me chuckle. McCormick’s room filled with pictures of Tiffany and handwritten signs professing love to her brought out many deep belly laughs. I quickly became obsessed with this documentary about obsession and forced many people to watch it with me. It wasn’t until I watched the documentary for the fifth time that I started to notice something beyond the film’s humor.
I saw something more in Turner and McCormick than just two twisted, disturbing stalkers. I saw two lonely, misunderstood adults that are filled with passion and no one to share it with. What I love the most about them is their honesty. They say exactly what is on their minds, whether its reality or part of the fantasy world they created. There’s no sense of embarrassment or shame when either super fan elaborates on their Tiffany obsession. There are a few scenes with Turner and his emotionally abusive stepfather that were absolutely heartbreaking. He doesn’t have many close friends and one can assume he has a very unsupportive family that doesn’t give him the love and attention he deserves. McCormick is intersex and explains the struggles and emotional pain she has endured throughout her life, and much like Turner, she doesn’t have many friends or family members in her life. There is such a huge lack of love and understanding for both Turner and McCormick, and they believe Tiffany is their hero, an Aphrodite that serves as their guardian and protector giving them the strength to go on.
All in all I Think We’re Alone Now was the most uncomfortable 61 minutes that I’ve ever experienced. My cheeks were so sore from constantly cringing, and I caught myself constantly covering my face with my hands and peeking through the cracks of my fingers. That’s why I love this documentary so much. I commend Donnelly on his method of filming this documentary because it gives viewers the ability to be a fly on the wall in the lives of these two obsessive super fans. Turner and McCormick give a much deeper meaning to Tiffany’s one-hit wonder.