“A film is inert, blank, non-existent without people there to complete the film by engaging with it. It is a beautiful relational situation.” Mike Mills, Director “C’mon C’mon” creates a compassionate, confidential portrait of familial stress, struggling to survive, understanding, and vocalizing emotional complexities that plague each member. Joaquin Phoenix is at his comfortable best as “Johnny”, a radio journalist who travels around the country interviewing children about their “take” on the world and its future; his sister “Viv” (perceptively perfect Gaby Hoffman) needs his help taking care of her nine-year-old precocious, flirting with the spectrum, son “Jesse” (Woody Norman, annoyingly advanced) while she cares for her psychotic husband “Paul” (Scoot McNairy, frenetically disturbed). Hence the road trip of awareness, wariness, commences as Johnny and Jesse excavate the unexplored boundaries of friendship between a childless uncle and his needy nephew; filmed in black and white keeps the focus on the intimacy of the pair as they forge a deep, at times frustrating, bond.
What I found inexcusable was the ubiquitous bastardization of the word “like”; every child interviewed, regardless of their IQ, infused each sentence with a myriad of “likes”; the interviewers suffered from the same affliction, and it sabotaged the value of the scenario. Why has this word become a part of contemporary communication, ingrained in the vernacular? It is a linguistic tragedy.