John Callahan Film Shows The Power of Dark Humor

On July 13, 2018, the film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot hit select theaters across the country. Based on a true story, this poignant, insightful, and often funny drama was adapted from an autobiography of the same name by John Callahan–a nationally syndicated cartoonist, paraplegic, and recovered alcoholic who shocked America with his own special brand of wicked humor.

Don’t Worry shows “Callahan’s rocky path to sobriety after a life-changing accident, during which he  discovers the healing power of art.  Willing his injured hands into drawing hilarious, often controversial cartoons, [Callahan] creates a new lease on life” —IMBd.

Directed by two-time Oscar nominee Gus Van Sant, the film boasted an impressive cast: Joaquin Phoenix (Her, Gladiator, Hotel Rwanda), Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street, Moneyball), Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), and Jack Black (School of Rock, Nacho Libre).

Anthony Lane, a film critic at The New Yorker  perfectly summarized the atmosphere of the film: “The shading of the humor—harsh, drier than sand, and gleeful at its own darkness—owes much to the spirit of the artist, who was in a car accident when he was twenty-one and spent the rest of his days as a quadriplegic. In drawing after drawing, he took aim at his condition, and at those who tried to gild him with pity…”