C'mon C'mon (2021)

“Whatever you plan on happening, never happens. Stuff you would never think of happens.”

No matter how much many of us like to pretend that we have our lives under control, the simple fact of the matter is: we don’t…and we probably never will. It is not that we are necessarily doing anything wrong, but things happen. Life happens. We just have to roll with the punches and hope we come out alive, better or worse. Probably one of the best films that perfectly captures this sentiment is writer-director Mike Mills’ latest project, C’mon C’mon

"What is so lovely about this film is also being able to see Joaquin Phoenix in such a soft role"

Radio journalist Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) is traveling around the country asking young kids questions about what their life is like now and how they think the future will be. While in Detroit, Johnny calls his sister, Viv (Gaby Hoffmann), and by the end of the call, Johnny is tasked with watching over his nine-year-old nephew, Jesse (Woody Norman) while Viv takes a stressful trip to Oakland to care for her husband Paul, who is suffers from some mental illness. As Viv unexpectedly takes longer and longer to help Paul, Johnny and Jesse grow closer and closer as Jesse accompanies Johnny on his travels for work.

I don’t think it is an easy task to be able to capture the feeling of a memory, but somehow Mike Mills does it in this film, and he does so with a tremendous delicacy. He shows the lasting and sometimes immortal impact of memories. Time passes, but memories remain. Mills also highlights the complicated and loving relationships between adults and kids. How the past and the future collide but also connect. What also is a great universal theme that Mills really hits home with is: despite your age or experience, nobody has any idea what they are doing. This is such a natural and honest story that everyone can connect to.C'mon C'mon (2021)

What is so lovely about this film is also being able to see Joaquin Phoenix in such a soft role. As an actor primarily known for playing dark and demanding characters, it is so refreshing to see the actor completely embrace the endearing, silly, and quietly heartbroken role of Johnny (especially considering previous film was as the title character in Joker). And Phoenix’s costar is just as impressive. Woody Norman is extremely charming, frustrating, silly, imaginative, and everything else a nine-year-old should be. Norman absolutely gives one of the best child-actor performances ever, and you cannot help but love him. 

Despite the rather painful circumstances that drive C’mon C’mon, Mills has managed to give us such a delightful film. The pain and stress that comes with being an adult is continually alleviated by the innocence of Jesse and the numerous kids that are interviewed throughout the film (which are real and unscripted interviews, by the way). With a mix of narrative and documentary story-telling, the film is beautifully raw and down to earth. By the end, you will have a smile on your face and perhaps a couple of tears in your eyes.

5/5 stars


C'mon C'mon (2021)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate FIlms
Available on Blu-ray
- April 12, 2022
Screen Formats: 1.66:1
: English SDH, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) and his young nephew (Woody Norman) forge a tenuous but transformational relationship when they are unexpectedly thrown together in this delicate and deeply moving story about the connections between adults and children, the past and the future, from writer-director Mike Mills.


Presented in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio, the 1080p high-definition transfer shows off Robbie Ryan’s beautiful and evocative black-and-white cinematography extremely well. Super clear and sharp picture. It is a wonderfully effortless transfer.


With a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, all dialogue, musical cues, and ambient noises of the big cities are absolutely clean and clear. The split channels allow for a great immersion into the constant traveling the characters go through. Overall, a great transfer.


Special features are few, but are still great and informative. Mike Mills takes you on his journey in making the film, while also showing his appreciation and relationships for everyone involved.


  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Mike Mills

Special Features:

  • “Making C’mon C’mon” Featurette
  • Trailers from A24

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4.5/5 stars

Film Details

C'mon C'mon (2021)

MPAA Rating: R for language.
109 mins
: Mike Mills
Mike Mills
Joaquin Phoenix; Gaby Hoffmann; Woody Norman
: Drama

Memorable Movie Quote: "Ahh yeah, whatever you plan on happening never happens. Stuff you would never think of happens. So you just have to c'mon c'mon, c'mon c'mon c'mon."
Theatrical Distributor:
Official Site: https://a24films.com/films/cmon-cmon
Release Date:
November 19, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 12, 2022.
Synopsis: Johnny is an emotionally stunted and softspoken radio journalist who travels the country interviewing a variety of kids about their thoughts concerning their world and their future. Then Johnny's saddled with caring for his young nephew Jesse. Jesse brings a new perspective and, as they travel from state to state, effectively turns the emotional tables on Johnny.


C'mon C'mon (2021)