C'mon C'mon

C'mon C'mon

In Theatres: 
Nov 24, 2021
Running Time: 
108 minutes

As humans we are constantly learning; our experiences shape and mold the people we become with our past directly influencing our views and habits. There is no going back though, only forward, and often it takes a lifetime to understand who we truly are. C’mon C’mon is a sliver of two intersecting lives, radio journalist Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) and his nine-year-old nephew Jesse (Woody Norman), and the impact they have on one another. The film is an inspiring discussion on life, perception, and the relationships we create, propelled by captivating performances by Phoenix and Norman.


Johnny takes time off from his latest project interviewing kids about their thoughts on themselves and their futures to look after his nephew while his sister takes care of her husband and his mental illness. What was supposed to be a few days soon turns into weeks, and Johnny and Jesse learn about each other and life in general.


Presented in black and white, there’s a minimalist aura surrounding C’mon C’mon that focuses your attention solely on Johnny and Jesse. Their relationship is always front and center as you hang off every word. Woody Norman delivers a breakout performance as Jesse, whose obnoxious and sometimes strange personality drives Johnny to anger and confusion but also patience and understanding. Norman conveys the innocence of a nine year old, but also the wisdom and maturity of a person who’s lived a full life. Watching him act opposite Phoenix, who always excels, is simply a treat.


C’mon C’mon probably isn’t for everyone. There’s no traditional story or plot to follow as the majority of the film consists of seemingly random discussions between Johnny and Jesse as they both try and navigate around one another. It’s a slice-of-life story that makes you think more deeply about your own relationships and the people in your life. As their connection to each other grows deeper, so does yours with them. It’s easy at the beginning to identify with Johnny more and view Jesse and his quirks as annoying, but as you get to understand him more through his inquisitive nature, you learn to appreciate him for his personality. C’mon C’mon treats kids as equals to adults. Johnny’s whole radio project is to sit and listen to what kids have to say about themselves and their views on the future. It’s the same with Jesse, just on a more personal level.


Director Mike Mills has crafted a beautifully rich film that reminds us all what it means to be human. C’mon C’mon will no doubt have a different impact depending on how old you are, and I can imagine myself watching it every so often to see how my impression changes. It’s a film that’s so full of life, wearing its emotion on its sleeve for everyone to see.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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