Cha Cha Real Smooth Review

Cha Cha Real Smooth was reviewed out of the SXSW Film Festival, and will release on Apple TV+ on June 17, 2022.

If traders treated Hollywood like the stock market, everyone would be buying into Cooper Raiff after Cha Cha Real Smooth. The 25-year-old Texan filmmaker follows his buzzy indie Shithouse with a small-town tale about the splendor of singular moments. Romantic dramas often operate in big gestures — Matthew McConaughey says his bachelor ways for marriage, Sandra Bullock locks down Mr. Right — but Cha Cha Real Smooth emphasizes how comparative pit stops throughout our lives can provide monumental experiences. Raiff channels all the post-college uncertainty that swirls in twenty-somethings who face infinite possibilities for a lovely story about relationships as romance, friendships, or the indefinable whatevers that make our lives so beautifully complex.

Raiff writes, directs, and stars as Tulane graduate Andrew, who goes from dormitory keggers to sharing a room with his brother, David (Evan Assante), in his stepfather, Greg’s (Brad Garrett), house. Leslie Mann plays Raiff’s mother with limitless maternal sweetness, while Brad Garrett’s serious-and-sour face is flawless in response to incessant insults thrown from Raiff’s Andrew, a particularly protective son. Cha Cha Real Smooth captures every out-of-college kid’s worst nightmare, where there are no full-time job projects, just a mall food court gig selling meat on a stick — colorful vendor’s storefront and all. Fate luckily intervenes when Andrew takes David to a bat mitzvah and becomes a professional party host, where Andrew strikes a temptation-filled connection with parent Domino (Dakota Johnson) and a cute buddy rapport with her autistic daughter, Lola (Vanessa Burghardt).

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