Apple TV+’s Cha Cha Real Smooth with Cooper Raiff

Odeya Rush and Cooper Raiff in Cha Cha Royal Soft.
Photo: apple

It has to be said that the Cooper Rave camera loves the Cooper Rave. He loves the way his eyes sparkle, the way his hair flaunts and the way his head bobs and bobs awkwardly when he talks. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: the cameras have to like their subjects, at least a little bit. But in Cha Cha Royal Soft, a comedy-drama written, directed, produced by and starring 25-year-old Rafe, awaits the moment when his character becomes more than just a character of superficial worship, when his story (like her) becomes something akin to emotional or narrative coherence. And in most of it, she never comes.

Cha Cha Royal Soft It was one of the big success stories of this year’s Sundance Virtual Film Festival, where it won the People’s Choice Award and garnered enough praise to land a pricey Apple TV+ distribution deal. It’s often this kind of cute and sweet catnip “drama” for Sundance fans and acquisitions staff, but it hardly tends to cause a ripple when released. It would be interesting to see if Cha Cha Royal Soft Better, or, in the age of live streaming, we can even accurately measure how “successful” it is at all. Critics still seem to love him, though there are some hints that he may be more divided than expected. (New York times reconsidering Manohla Dargis’s last week was so brutal that it really spread).

your tolerance for Cha Cha Royal Soft It probably depends on your tolerance for Raiff himself as a movie buff. Andrew, a recent college graduate who returned to his New Jersey hometown depressed, sighs, and works at a seemingly shady fast-food joint called Meat Sticks, talks fast, but isn’t the ambitious or street-oriented type. The words spilled out of Andrew as if he were horrified at the mere prospect of an awkward pause. Flirting. Notes apologizes joking more. However, his inability to tolerate being teased or being quiet makes him amusing at parties, and after attending a bat party and impressing parents with his ability to get all the shy kids out on the dance floor. of dance, he started the party as “a party starter”. » roaming the suburbs of Jersey and broadcasting Life in various communities.

many of Cha Cha Royal Soft It follows Andrew’s relationship with Domino (Dakota Johnson), a mysteriously troubled 30-year-old mother who shines for him after he manages to make her autistic daughter Lola (the beautiful Vanessa Burghardt) dance. Andrew’s persistent insistence that everyone have a good time, her desperate and needy energy for her, contrasts sharply with the sad domino and reserved Lola. We are very curious to see how this relationship could progress. Unfortunately, it doesn’t progress as much as it is. To follow, with all-too-familiar story beats, with little sense of advancement or character development. Everyone seems to be there primarily to emphasize Andrew’s inherent aptitude.

Meanwhile, the insane hypocrisy of Raiff’s delivery drains every moment of the film, even some of the most intimate and dramatic, of any weight or force. It’s not that he doesn’t seem like a nice guy; It’s just that there’s nothing to say or do that sounds particularly original. It also doesn’t help that, like Domino’s, Johnson often has a slightly lip-smacking way of acting. This sounds more like a management failure than a performance one; After his amazing work on Maggie Gyllenhaal the missing daughter (a film in which she actually spent less screen time), it’s disappointing to see the actress given so little to work with. The film seems to be interested in Domino primarily as a vessel of pain in which the protagonist can prove her worth. She is not the only one.

Rest Cha Cha Royal Soft It looks like a checklist of coming of age items. Andrew has a strained relationship with his new stepfather, Greg (played by Brad Jarrett, another award-winning actor who really didn’t have much to do), but this conflict isn’t explored in any meaningful way; The two characters seem to disagree because, well, that’s exactly what these types of characters are supposed to be in these types of movies. Andrew has a friend from university who is studying in Barcelona and wants to join her in Spain. He was supposed to have a crush on her, but when he later saw an Instagram post of her with another guy, I realized that he had completely forgotten who this woman was. There’s also a lukewarm subplot about Andrew trying to teach his younger brother (Evan Asante) how to get his (unseen) girlfriend’s first kiss. But again, he dropped so quickly, later when the younger brother praised getting that first kiss, I realized he had stopped thinking this was something in the movie. Odeya Rush appears a couple of times as her friend with benefits, and I’m sure I forgot about her too. Either I’m going crazy, or maybe Cooper Rafe should have spent a little more time on this stage.

Perhaps this is all intentional. Perhaps everything is supposed to be indicative of the emotional death of young people. But what is ultimately disappointing Cha Cha Royal Soft It is her superficial view of growth, which may explain why the protagonist does so little. The film seems to view adulthood as a series of grim compromises one must make for security and stability: a 25-year-old’s idea of ​​what the rest of life should look like. Andrew pushes his way into an uneasy truce with the thought that the adults will eventually have to move on without him. By then, any interesting ideas this movie had had would have been spoiled by giddy narcissism.

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