Review: ‘C’mon C’mon’ is the Most Heartwarming Film of the Year

“He’s a whole little person,” Jesse’s mother warns her brother when he offers to take care of her son for a few days. But Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) is in no way ready for the way that his experiences with Jesse (Woody Norman) will affect him. 

Mike Mills’s latest drama C’mon C’mon proves that he is as in touch with the human experience as ever as he perfectly assembles a film that is heartwarming without ever being saccharine.

Johnny is a New York-based radio journalist traveling around the country to interview young people about their thoughts on the future.

When he finds out that his sister Viv (Gaby Hoffman) needs to help care for her son’s father Paul (Scoot McNairy) who is struggling with his mental health, Johnny offers to take care of his nephew.

This film is so gentle — even the conflict between the siblings arises out of misplaced blame and misunderstandings — but in a way that feels comforting.

The film is greatly enhanced by the clips of interviews that we see Johnny doing with tweens and teens across the country, which were real unscripted interviews with genuine answers. Johnny’s partner Roxanne is played by actual public radio journalist Molly Webster.