Craigslist Joe (2012)
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Critic Reviews for Craigslist Joe
The briskly edited docu seldom stops long enough to let Joe's new friends (identified only by first name) make anything beyond the most superficial impressions.
A generally agreeable but perhaps hopelessly meandering nonfiction snapshot of one guy's attempt to hit the road for 31 days and live off the alms of America's new, digital age thrift store.
Audience Reviews for Craigslist Joe
Interesting, but patchy. The most moving part for me was the ex-actress with cancer and hoarding tendencies. I wasn't really surprised by the results here. He did have a camera following him, so of course people would feel more comfortable helping him out. I think it might be extremely different for the actual homeless out there to acquire accomodation/lifts/meals etc.
This sugar sweet documentary about the decency of human kindness comes from Joseph Garner, a man who lived off the good tidings of strangers for an entire month. It sounds a little corny, especially since the man did have to gain the trust, understanding, and friendship of so many strangers, but it was still an eye opening film. Not only is the documentary interesting because it drives through that point, but also because the people who Joe eventually meets, and the ways he finds himself stuck in places, is interesting to watch. He starts in San Francisco and winds his way all across the country, (as far as New York City) and then comes back through the American South. He looks on Craigslist every day for free food, rides, places to crash for the night, and last calls so he doesn't have to sleep on the streets, sometimes in the winter. Joe oftentimes finds very interesting people to stay with. In New York he stays with a maniacal woman who is looking for acceptance from the world at large and remains a hoarder when Joe leaves, a nice man in Los Angeles who gives him some oranges, a thoughtful guy who gives him a long ride from the Southwest back home, and interestingly enough, a Dominatrix. Garner seems like a sincere, affable young man, and always looks to the bright side, never finding himself veering into anger or self-hatred. The people he meets are what make this film so interesting, but his own gratitude and self-discovery in the midst of his self-satisfied journey make the film the enjoyable romp that it is. Unlike many other film dealing with the human condition, Garner gives tangible proof of how people really do want to be interconnected and feel the good of the human spirit, even in a world that is becoming ever more cloistered and private with the multitude of information out there. In the digital age Joe still finds the good in people, and that's what makes this even better.
Craigslist Joe is one of those documentaries that has an interesting idea, but leaves you wanting more. I enjoyed watching it, and it was really wonderful to see that side of human nature, which is almost nonexistent nowadays. With being said, the film lacks in many areas, and it could have been much better than what we got. Don't get me wrong, it was really cool to see that side of people come out, but the main character, Joe doesn't let the people truly involved in the picture, and it all seems too quick to make a truly compelling and memorable documentary. The people that Joe meets are wonderful, but there could have been given a bit more time on-screen. Craigslist Joe makes you feel good, but I personally feel that this film is a bit too short and good have been longer to really let this experience to sink in. The kindness that people express in the film is totally amazing and unique, and is what is missing in the world. Is this film worth seeing? Yes, it is. However there are -plenty of little imperfections in this documentary to really make it a film to watch again and again. Sometimes, it feels cheesy only to give this subject a bit more dramatic flavor to it. For what it is, it's a well put together documentary, but at times the emotions that Joe feels is meh. The people he meets are the real stars here, and I just felt like Joe was more of a secondary character. A good little documentary, but very far from the best that I have seen. This one could have been better, much better.
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