There are so many things bad about being an alcoholic – the list is almost endless. The new movie “Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot” is a true story about just one of many scenario’s that happen to far too many people. The horrendous potential dangers of driving while drunk or in the case of this true story about Cartoonist John Callahan – getting into a car, at age 21 that is driven by someone who is seriously drunk. The result of the car accident was that Callahan was crippled for the rest of his life and wound up in a wheelchair and the driver walked away from the accident with a few scratches. This was despite the fact that the car he was driving was a Volkswagen Beetle and ran into a pole at 90 miles and hour. This movie is a survival story about a man who was an alcoholic most of his life and there are many scenes of Callahan attending Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and trying to get through a 12 step recovery program.
This low budget movie was written and directed by the great director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) and is based on a book written by John Callahan. The acting in this film that included Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black was outstanding and I have always been impressed at the career decision of Joaquin Phoenix to only make low budget high quality movies for far less money.
This story is about a very depressing list of subjects including alcoholism and trying to recover from losing your ability to walk and take care of yourself. One cannot help but put themselves into the position of John Callahan who knew at age 21 that he would never walk again. Many people would commit suicide when facing something this horrendous at such a young age. This story is about survival, rationalization, trying to heal and understand why someone drinks to escape unbearable pain – in this case of Callahan his mother abandoned him as a child. Much of this was difficult to watch, but in the end the story was extremely well told.
Throughout this film, some of Callahan’s cartoons were shown – some of the better ones were:
“Two Ku Klux Klansmen heading out at night in their white sheets. Says one: “Don’t you love it when they’re still warm from the dryer?”
“A beggar in the street wearing a sign that reads, “Please help me. I am blind and black, but not musical.”
“A sign in the window of a small, street-side restaurant says: “The Anorexic Cafe, Now Closed 24 Hours a Day!”
I thought this film was a high quality low budget movie worthy of a great director like Gus Van Sant and I recommend it.