Sundance 2022: “Cha Cha Real Smooth”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Not every romantic drama requires time to get into the story, grasp it, understand it and eventually make sense of it. However, not every story manages to go as far as the imagination of the writer, who either fails or succeeds in delivering his/her story.

“Cha Cha Real Smooth” is a type of romantic drama that you will warm up towards only once it reaches the last act. Andrew just graduated college and all that he does is waste his years in bars and cafes as a party-starter. It seems that life is too easy for him, therefore, does not fully take advantage of all the opportunities he gets. That changes when he meets a woman older than him with her daughter, and he begins to see life from a different perspective.

One of the reasons why the film does not work is the chemistry of Dakota Johnson with Cooper Raiff who fulfills the duty of both a writer and the director of the film. There is something off with them, which makes the performance unconvincing and lacking inspiration. It’s not Johnson’s fault though. She is a complete miscast in this film. However, when we learn that Johnson’s Domino has a fiancé (Raul Castillo), the story does not try to jump over its head and does not paint him as a villain as the young man must rescue the love of his life.

Instead, and that’s why it gets better towards the end, Castillo’s character is a nice man who can provide for Domino and her daughter Lola. If we put all that aside, it’s a nice story for people that have gone through heartbreak at such an early age. But logically, Raiff writes up a good story that will work for the audience but not so much in terms of the right cast for the film.

%d bloggers like this: