After a strong premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Cha Cha Real Smooth has danced its way onto AppleTV+.
And yes. The film’s title is totally related to the infamous party anthem (and my line dance of choice), “The Cha Cha Slide”.
Cha Cha Real Smooth follows Andrew (Cooper Raiff), who is fresh out of college, stuck in New Jersey, and has no clear path. So being the quirky extrovert he is, he becomes a bar mitzvah party host and ends up striking a unique bond with a young mother (Dakota Johnson) and her autistic daughter (Vanessa Burghardt).
A blend of genuine heart and hilarity, Cha Cha Real Smooth is a coming of age story for a new generation of 20-something year olds. It is a very simple premise that successfully balances the awkward vibes of a charming indie with the emotion of a drama.
Cha Cha Real Smooth is basically the Raiff show (he wrote, directed, produced, edited and starred in the film), he manages to make every second count. It’s rare to see a film where a creator embraces growing up in such an authentic way.
The dialogue hit home in many ways for me, similarly to how The Worst Person in the World hit home. It is so real. And so authentic to discovering who you are. Raiff captures how messy being 22 is — the emotional rollercoaster of not knowing who you are and what you want PERFECTLY. And I cannot understate this.
Although I wasn’t as blown away by the acting as many other critics, I did actually enjoy Dakota Johnson’s performance. It may be her best performance to date.
Overall, this is one honest and sweet ride worth taking. I look forward to seeing what else Raiff creates in the future.
Final Thoughts: This Cha Cha Real Smooth into my heart.