Director: Cooper Raiff
Writer: Cooper Raiff
Stars: Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Evan Assante
In 2021, Apple acquired a Sundance crowd-pleaser indie film “Coda,” released it over the summer, and mounted an Oscars campaign that ultimately awarded it the Best Picture trophy. Could the tech giant be looking to repeat that cycle with its latest acquisition? Based on the festival’s response and the summer release date of “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” whose first trailer dropped today, this movie could have similar appeal on Apple TV+.
The film stars Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Cooper Raiff, Brad Garrett, Evan Assante, Vanessa Burghardt, Raúl Castillo and Colton Osorio. “Cha Cha” tells the story of a young bar mitzvah party starter (Raiff) who falls in love with a single mother of a disabled child.
“Cha Cha Real Smooth” was written and directed by prodigy filmmaker Raiff, his second effort behind the camera following his SXSW 2020 hit “Shithouse.” His first movie impressed Dakota Johnson so much that she boarded “Cha Cha Real Smooth” as a producer as well as a lead.
success at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, delighting critics and winning the Audience Award. Shortly after, it was acquired by Apple in a massive deal with a rumored tag price of $15 million.
In his Sundance review, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote: “With their delightful sophomore effort ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth,’ another effortless, fun and endlessly indulgent blend note for anyone who has struggled to reconcile the life they had with the one they had. imagined for themselves, Raiff heightens the disarming seriousness of his debut without losing any of his DIY intimacy.”
In an interview with IndieWire, Cooper Raiff described his character’s personal journey as a bar mitzvah party starter as something many young people should be able to relate to.
“My 20s are a lot like Andrew’s 20s,” he said. “It’s the time when you have to start your own parties, so I wanted to write a character who wasn’t good at it. He’s great at hosting other people’s parties. And I identify with that.”