Cartooned (Movie Thoughts: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot)

keyart-single-dont-worry-verticalI did not realize that ‘Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot’ was directed by Gus Van Sant until the credits/ I have always admired his work as a director, but I have mixed feelings about this film. He wrote the screenplay, which is based on the book by its subject: John Callahan, a cartoonist who is paraplegic. Apparently, Robin Williams, before he passed away, brought the project to Van Sant. I can only imagine what kind of film that collaboration would produce, but I bet it would be better than what we have here. This bio pic focuses more on his alcoholism, and how it was the cause of his vehicular accident that put him on a wheelchair. Plus, we get all the drama about him obsessing that he was given up for adoption by his mother. I was more interested in how he became a famous cartoonist. His work has a flair for the irreverent humor, and it kind of appealed to me, even though I was not really familiar with his work before this. That part of the story is touched upon very briefly here – his relationships take more center stage. Joaquin Phoenix tries his best to form a character here, but isn’t helped much. I only believed him half the time – there’s something off with his performance here. Jonah Hill fares a little better as John’s sponsor – a semi-flamboyant gay trust fund baby. But again, he isn’t much of a character, just decoration for the story. I thought the film felt oddly detached, and I left not knowing much about the main character.

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