• Strictly Films

Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022 Sundance Film Festival); The First Great Film of 2022 is Here. Grade: B+


Strictly Films welcomes you back to more coverage of this years 2022 Sundance Film Festival! Our next film on the block: Cha Cha Real Smooth.


Cha Cha Real Smooth tells a story about a recent college graduate Andrew (Cooper Raiff) whom recently had been broken up by his girlfriend as he headed back home to live with his parents. Andrew was hoping to secure a great job straight out of college, but unfortunately for now he’s working at a hot dog on a stick kind of gig at a mall. One night Andrew took his little brother David (Evan Assante) to a friends Bar Mitzvah party, as Andrew you can tell he was the life of the party has he gotten everyone in the party to dance. Andrew even got a young Austic girl named Lola (Vanessa Burghardt) to take on a slow dance as well, which her mother Domino (Dakota Johnson) was extremely impressed by Andrew as she adored Andrew’s energy and kindness. Surely enough Andrew would take on a couple more gigs: Being a Party Host and also time to time babysitting Lola as Andrew was one of the rare few she felt comfortable being around as she sense he genuinely cares about her. Soon Andrew and Domino will build a deep bond despite Domino being engaged, however there’s no denying there is sparks in the air when it comes to these two.


Cooper Raiff delivered an unsung hero of a film called Shit House, it’s been talked about a lot in the film community as I recently seen it as I understand why it’s heavily praised. It’s a low budget style comedy film, however the film is quite unique as it does connect with college kids especially. With Cha Cha Real Smooth it’ll definitely be a film that’ll again connect with college kids, but also will connect to much more people as well in many different areas as the story can connect and be relatable to a lot of people.


After watching Cha Cha Real Smooth: I really am demanding Cooper Raiff to be in more films and to make more films, as this guy has got IT as he continues to impress me.


The story at hand excels on not only being a hilarious comedy and a deep meaningful story that many viewers can relate to, but it is also a heart felt story that does speak volumes of a unique feel good film. Watching the main character Andrew was a treat: I mean it’s really hard to not love this guy. Even though he’s not a perfect being as he is flawed, however the way he expresses himself in public makes you inspired to become a much more sweeter and much more sociable person, as this lovable life of the party can make anyone rise from the grave down and make them feel alive again. It really showcases just how powerful kindness really is: It impacts everyone around significantly, as you come more content in getting out of your shell and join in the party.


What I also really enjoyed about this film is the fact it doesn’t fall into the typical cliches we see time in and time again, it actually tries to create a much different world where characters are much more understanding to where there’s no need to cause conflict out of the blue. Like the third act especially: Often times with Andrew’s situation we’re waiting for him to get beaten up or be yelled at, however in that scenario: The man understands this complicated situation and knows Andrew has done no harm, plus has treated Domino’s daughter like a real human being and even made her a happier kid, so even though there is a reason to get mad at Andrew… There’s no point considering his age, had no intent to break up an engagement, and all the good he’s done for their lives so there’s no need to rile up a conflict at all. I enjoy the world Raiff made in this film: It felt like a breath of fresh air, from all the toxicity we often see in reality.

I enjoyed the concept of one being a party host, it’s such cool unique job title to explore where it’s never been explored before. Andrew most certainly throws a killer family friendly kind of party, the dude can make Barney songs the life of the party even when you’re sober… I’ve been sober since I was born, don’t get it twisted. The comedy material was great honestly, lots of laugh out moments from the opening sequence to the end of the film, Cooper Raiff is breaking new ground in comedy like we’ve never experience before, it’s been awhile I must say where one impresses me with actual real good written comedy material.

Cooper Raiff delivers a pretty good entertaining performance, I say he should be in more films because he’s a got a great personality, charisma as he’s just a really likable presence on screen. Dakota Johnson continues to impress as she delivered a pretty good performance, delivering great chemistry with Cooper and of course Vanessa Burghardt especially. Vanessa Burghardt also delivered a pretty good performance, she honestly really adorable and funny to watch on screen, as her scenes really make every decent being delighted while watching this character. Is it just me or does Lola reminded me a lot of Laurie from Silicon Valley?! Every time I watched this character on this screen, I thought of that boss lady character from that show. Everyone really did a pretty good job in this film, Cooper Raiff’s direction with his cast continues to impress as there is no sophomore slump.


The only real complaint I have with this film is the Cinematography, as the way this film was shot reminded me too much of a television series. Other than that man: Cha Cha Real Smooth is the first true banger of 2022 in cinema, it’s such a pure and wonderful film that’ll be LOVED by many viewers indeed.


Overall, Cha Cha Real Smooth is the first great film of 2022. I highly recommend checking this one out, it has been purchased for 15 million by Apple TV Plus so it’ll be hitting that streaming service very soon, it’s a must watch indeed and if it is shown in a theater I highly recommend seeing this in a theater… A perfect date night or family night at the theater. -Mitch Smietana

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