CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH – Review by Martha K Baker

One of the pleasures of watching movies is spotting a newcomer who shines. That is the case with Cha Cha Real Smooth,”whose stupid title comes from DJ Casper’s Cha Cha Slide, heard ad nauseam at receptions. Cooper Raiff wrote, directed, and stars in this awfully sweet film. To call a movie “sweet” is to damn it with the faintest of praise. But Cha Cha Real Smooth really is sweet.

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CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH (SXSW 2022) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

At first blush, I thought the coming-of-age drama Cha Cha Real Smooth sounded like one of those tiring “manic pixie dream girl” narratives, with an aimless college graduate curing his ennui through a friendship with a mother and her autistic daughter. But filmmaker Cooper Raiff, who stars here as well as writes and directs, surprises with something more subtle and nuanced. It’s not just the graduate who matures during this friendship. The mom does too, with a tender, complex performance from Dakota Johnson.

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