- IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1486616/
- Language: English
- Genre : Documentary
- Plot: A 29 year old film-maker lives off Craigslist for 31 days. It is a profound and moving experience.
- Starring : Joe Garner
- Direction: Joe Garner
- Background: Stumbled on Netflix
- Positives: I really liked this. First because, I’m a sucker for ‘on-the-road’ happy ending adventure stories. This is a lot ‘into the wild’ ish but much much more controlled and sane. The best really was how “average” the protagonist was! Many people think of this as a problem but I thought that clinched it for the documentary. He is not a ‘charmer’, he is quite awkward in most social scenarios, has some ‘common’ skills nothing too special but he is not dumb either. So, it is really easy to relate to this guy. He is in interesting situations and while you feel like, ‘oh such bland reactions’, that is how real people who live sheltered suburban lives react at first. People who have eloquent conversations with him on the drives when he just listens do so because they have had time to think and form such thoughts while he’s just thrown into the middle of all these new thoughts. So, I think his silence, his lack of interesting questions to ask - are what make the documentary real! Another striking aspect of the documentary is that it is indeed about the mildly interesting events. It is not out and out rejection of societal norms (like into the wild) or chasing after a wild youthful dream (like motorcycle diaries). It is just about doing something completely different from what he usually does and yet remaining in the ‘safe zone’ so to speak. This is great because, it is something that is easy to relate to!
- Negatives: As with the case with any filming of reactions, people’s reactions might have changed just because they were being recorded. Also, the entire experience worked out flawlessly. He was in trouble, he did have difficulty finding places to sleep and shower for a couple days and nights but he never starved. I do understand this is a major deviation from what his real life is, but still for the viewers it seems like ‘everyone’s great on the internet’. This is, of course, not true!
- My grade : B+