Almost everyone has been that person fresh out of college and not having a clue as to what the future holds — but now what? 22-year-old Andrew (Cooper Raiff) had a clear life path moving forward out of college, now he’s stuck at home with his family in New Jersey. If college taught him one thing, it’s drinking and partying, the perfect skills making him the perfect candidate for a job party-starting at the bar and bat mitzvahs of his younger brother’s classmates. However, when Andrew befriends a local mom, Domino, (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter, Lola (Vanessa Burghardt), he finally discovers a future may look like, even if it might not be his own.
Cooper Raiff writes, directs, produces, and stars in this charming flick which shows respect to all its characters’ struggles of mental illness and disability while taping into thee hopeless romantic living inside of all of us.
This amazing ensemble cast including Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, newcomers Vanessa Burghardt and Evan Assante make this film so much fun to watch. The popsicle seduction scene is worth the price of admission alone.
Let’s face it, unrequited love sucks. There is nothing worse than wanting to give your heart to someone and getting rejected. It’s scary, complex and can really make you feel like an idiot. But, if you are smart, which Cooper is, he walks away with a renewed sense of self that would have taken a little longer to discover had it not been for his heartbreak from Domino.
Vanessa Burghardt is perfection. She gives Lola a brutal honesty mixed with the vulnerability of a child that makes you fall in love with her. Having an autism character portrayed so clear and concise is exactly the type of representation that is need onscreen. Burghardt is literally a star.
Dakota Johnson is allowed, as Domino, to flex and lean into all the hidden talents she inhabits to flush out her insecurity, alluring sex appeal, frustration and confusion over her marriage all at once. It’s like watching a rollercoaster ride that you may or may not want to take a break from
However, one thing is for sure, Cha Cha Real Smooth is no sophomore slump effort from Cooper Raif. If anything, this film will catapult him into the ranks of other notable and lovable filmmakers like the Duplass or Coen Brothers and I simply can’t wait!