Before the aGLIFF screening of For the Love of Dolly, aGLIFF director Lonny Stern posed a question for the audience to consider while watching the film: "Is Dolly Parton the sweetest, nicest person in the world, or the world's largest enabler?" The answer isn't evident after watching this documentary that examines extreme Dolly Parton fandom. Like many contemporary documentaries, the film selects a few representatives on which to focus, and follows these five different people for a year in their assorted quests to get closer to Dolly.
The five fans all have their different ways of loving Dolly. Harrell and Patric are a couple whose house is stuffed full of Dolly likenesses -- the guys claim they had one bedroom that was off-limits to Dolly paraphernalia for awhile, but "she just crept in." Harrell designs and creates dolls in Dolly's likeness, from stitching the intricate costumes to modeling and painting the faces. Melisa and Jeanette devise new butterfly costumes every year to wear to a big parade featuring Dolly in person. Melisa moved to Nashville so she could keep tabs on Dolly and follow her around, and only takes jobs that allow her a flexible schedule to pursue the singer. Jeanette has built a little cabin based on a sliver of wood she stole from Dollywood, that she calls her "Tennessee Mountain home." The floor is stained with a likeness of Dolly and one of Jeanette's favorite dogs. We see video of Jeanette cleaning off Dolly's Walk-of-Fame star, then covering it in lipsticked kisses. David crochets little flyswatters and other knickknacks for Dolly, and has photos and posters of her plastered all over his bedroom.