In recent years, Netflix has produced some of the biggest and most groundbreaking documentaries ever produced. Names such as Britney Spears, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Pamela Anderson have all shared their stories on the streaming platform.
The latest instalment is of another 1990s pop-culture icon, the one and only Anna Nicole Smith.
The documentary has been received by mixed reviews with some applauding the documentary for telling her story, whilst critics are saying her legacy deserved better than this. IMBD has listed it at six and a half stars out of ten, and Rotten Tomatoes scored it just 31 percent out of 100.
Smith is best remembered for her being a titular model and playboy housemate and for her infamous marriage to octogenarian billionaire J. Howard Marshall. Then her story tragically ended in 2007, when she was found dead in a Florida hotel room at the age of 39.
The documentary, Anna Nicole: You Don’t Know Me, follows her early years growing up in the working-class town of Mexia, Texas. Her born name was Vickie Lynn Hogan, and she dropped out of high school at age 17.
“She was born beautiful,” says a voiceover from her late mother, a police officer named Virgie Mae Hogan, as she recalls memories of grown men following her child through the local shopping mall.
Her rise to fame came after her first marriage ended, taking her six-month-old son Daniel with her in search of fortune.
“She had an incredible work ethic,” recalls a former co-worker simply known as Missy who witnessed Smith on her early ascent to fame.
Smith’s Hollywood persona is said to have been inspired by the glamour of Marilyn Monroe and the humour of Carol Burnett. She had leading roles in films such as the 1996 film “Skyscraper” and as part of “The Naked Gun” franchise.
The documentary follows bombshell after bombshell, as revelations about her private life and secret relationships, marriage, and eventual death are unpacked. After marrying 90-year-old billionaire Marshall in 1994, his passing 13 months later would have a great impact on her enduring legacy. An ongoing battle between Smith and Marshall’s son in regard to his estate would cause controversy, and a reality series called “The Anna Nicole Show” would broadcast the broken star all over the world.
The all-American, rags-to-riches tale is a compelling watch at just under two hours in length.