A diverting infomercial, 24 Hours on Craigslist sent camera crews across San Francisco to interview folks who posted to the eponymous classified-ads site over the course of a day. Personalities motor the film, whether it’s the sardonic Vietnam vet searching for a 270 lb. woman or the Ethel Merman impersonator seeking a bass player for his classic rock band. Craigs- list, along with the glorified personal ads that are MySpace, Friendster, and Facebook, tries paradoxically to forge community through a disembodied medium, where identities can be gently buffed to reach their ideal sheen. They’re aspirational workshops for the lonely, the bored, and the adolescent to try on various personas, some healthier than others. Michael Soldier, the moral voice of the film (and the star of Terms of Endowment), expresses grave concern about how the anonymity of the Internet can grease the rails to self-annihilation. A maudlin jaunt to a depopulated “sex party” proves his point before the film steers back to more agreeable subjects.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 10, 2006