C’mon, C’mon Parent Guide
This is a black and white art film, with fine acting that clearly depicts the emotional lives of the characters.
Parent Movie Review
Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) is a radio journalist, working on a long-running project which involves travelling the country and interviewing children about their thoughts about the future. But his plans change when his sister, Viv (Gaby Hoffman) needs him to look after her 9-year-old son, Jesse (Woody Norman). Viv’s estranged husband Paul (Scoot McNairy) has some serious mental health struggles, and Viv wants to make sure he gets the care he needs – a full time job on its own. And while Johnny is happy to look after his nephew, the two are going to have to get used to one another: Jesse is, at best, a little weird and constantly inquisitive. Johnny, on the other hand, prefers not to talk about himself – something Jesse simply won’t put up with. The longer Viv tries to help Paul, the closer Johnny and Jesse become…but they’re going to have to work through some of their personal problems along the way.
Do you like kids? If the answer is no, you’re going to find this movie somewhat baffling. I’m pretty selective about which of those weird little humans I spend time with and I was constantly frustrated by just how weird and difficult Jesse was. It’s entirely possible that’s deliberate, but I found it more annoying than endearing. If you have an all-embracing love of children, I expect you’ll find Jesse’s bizarre behaviour rather more charming.
I can’t argue with the acting – despite his character driving me up the wall like a nervous spider, Woody Norman certainly brings a lot of genuine vulnerability to the film. Joaquin Phoenix and Gaby Hoffman are also doing a lot of heavy lifting on screen, capturing the determination, fatigue, and exasperation which seem to be endemic to the fine art of childcare.
Despite the youthful protagonist, this isn’t a film for children. Apart from the 26 f-bombs, this is a film by and for adults, especially those who deal with children. I don’t think children would be particularly interested in, and certainly not entertained by, this slower-paced look at a burgeoning relationship. Frankly, this isn’t a film for all adults either – it’s neither thrilling nor melodramatic. It’s a black-and-white, artistic movie which is primarily focused with the internal emotional lives of its characters, not some grandiose external affair. If that sounds like a soporific to you, I’m sure you’re not alone – but you’d be missing out on some superb character acting. Even if it comes with some childish nonsense. As I understand it, that’s part of the charm.Directed by Mike Mills. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Norman, Gabby Hoffman. Running time: 109 minutes. Theatrical release December 3, 2021. Updated February 24, 2022
Watch the trailer for C’mon, C’mon
Rating & Content Info
Why is C’mon, C’mon rated R? C’mon, C’mon is rated R by the MPAA for language
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 26 uses of extreme profanity and eight uses of scatological profanity, and infrequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are briefly seen drinking socially.
Page last updated February 24, 2022
C’mon, C’mon Parents' Guide
How does Johnny change his approach with Jesse? What are the results of his earlier attempts to relate to him? What changes his perspective? How does it change his view of himself? Or his relationship with his sister? What, in turn, does Johnny help Jesse to understand about himself and his family?