On The Screen: Craiglist Joe

I heard about Craigslist Joe a few months ago and got really excited and also to see if Joe could measure up to Craigslist Forrest. As a couple who met via Craigslist, found too many cars to count, bought our house, and have bought and sold many miscellaneous items, we immediately assumed that this would be an exercise in trying to build a life from nothing via Craigslist (as in get a job, an apartment, a car, etc.). That wasn’t what this movie was about.

Rather than an exercise in obtaining basic material needs through an alternative means, Joe explores how Craigslist can be a way of drawing people together in an increasingly isolated world. Joe set out on his adventure with nothing but the clothes on his back, a cell phone and a lap top journeying to see how Americans in the midst of a recession could “take care of each other.” He meets people though Craigslist (and in bars, dance classes, and volunteer gigs he found on Craigslist) who let him ride in their cars, sleep on their couches, and dine with their families.

While the movie was not what we expected, we enjoyed following along with Joe’s adventures in meeting people and traveling around the country. We were surprised by his lack of negative experiences (he only had a couple of “no shows” and no real weirdos), occasionally cheered by the people he found, and found ourselves wanting to shake him and give him advice (for example, “If you need to get to New Orleans, any destination on I-10 is probably a good bet”). If you enjoy a good travel documentary that features the good of people (even people you meet on the Internet), check Craigslist Joe.

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