7.125

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Fresh out of college and stuck at his New Jersey home without a clear path forward, 22-year-old Andrew begins working as a party starter for bar/bat mitzvahs—where he strikes up a unique friendship with a young mom and her teenage daughter. #Falling in love is easy. Growing up is hard.
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CinemaSerf

at 13:45 pm

Cooper Raiff did just about everything on this quickly paced and rather touching comedy drama. He plays the 22-year old "Andrew", whom we first meet as a young boy who has a crush on a party starter. Dejected after his inevitable rejection, we skip on a few years to when he is using his considerable social skills to get folks up and dancing at the seemingly never ending series of bar/bat mitzvah's in his town. It's at one such gathering that he meets "Domino" (Dakota Johnson) and her autistic daughter "Lola" (a strong performance from Vanessa Burghardt). The challenge is to get the shy young girl to dance and the result is a sitter job and a relationship, of sorts, with her mother - already engaged to the frequently out of town "Joseph" (Raúl Castillo). What now ensues is a gently comedic, but quite potent story that offers the young and charismatic "Andrew" (he reminded me a lot of Jack Whitehall!) with an opportunity to shine. It's about love, yes, but it's about hope and managing expectations too; with this young man, like so many of us at that age, trying to start out in life on as sure a footing as he can. It's not all a barrel of laughs - there is plenty of emotional turmoil for him, "Domino", his mother (Leslie Mann) and for his coming-of-age brother "David" (Evan Assante) and it illustrates also quite effectively just how cruel youngsters can be to each other; and how blind loyalty from their parents doesn't help (though in this film, there are quite entertaining side-effects!). There is chemistry here between the confident Raiff and both Johnson and Burghardt, the soundtrack gets your toes tapping and the conclusion offers a reality that I rather appreciated. It's good, this.


MSB

at 00:45 am

FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.msbreviews.com/movie-reviews/cha-cha-real-smooth-spoiler-free-review "Cha Cha Real Smooth holds incredible authenticity elevated by superb performances and an emotionally impactful story. Cooper Raiff builds extremely relatable protagonists who need each other to learn how to overcome their intricate, uncertain stages of life. Raiff and Dakota Johnson share remarkable chemistry, humbly indulging in their flawed human characters. Appreciating this type of film depends heavily on the life experiences of each viewer due to the genuinely real environment surrounding the entire narrative. Personally, the heartfelt approach to post-graduate life and the brilliant treatment of the autistic daughter touched my heartstrings. Despite being quite simple and even too sweet and naive in several more serious moments, I couldn't recommend this movie more. It deserved to be seen on the big screen." Rating: A-