“Cha Cha Slide” is a staple of awkward middle school dances, and has been on the playlist for every bar and bat mitzvah I’ve ever attended (and as a Jew from New York, I’ve attended many). The DJ Casper song also inspired the title of Cha Cha Real Smooth, writer and director Cooper Raiff’s follow-up to the well-received Sh*thouse.
Cha Cha Real Smooth is about an aimless recent college graduate (played by Raiff) who connects with a mother (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter (Vanessa Burghardt) while working as a bar/bat mitzvah party host. The plot may sound like it was “designed by an advanced AI to be the most Sundance dramedy plot ever conceived,” as our Vince Mancini wrote in his Sundance review, but “it was so undeniably sweet and eloquently delivered that I just couldn’t help myself.” He’s right: prepare to be charmed, especially by Johnson, who continues to be captivating in everything she’s in.
Here’s the official plot description:
Fresh out of college and without a clear life path going forward, 22-year-old Andrew is stuck back at home with his family in New Jersey. But if there’s one thing that belongs on his nonexistent résumé, it’s how to get a party started, which lands him the perfect job of motivational dancing at the bar and bat mitzvahs for his younger brother’s classmates. When Andrew befriends a local mom, Domino, and her daughter, Lola, he finally discovers a future he wants – even if it might not be his own.
Cha Cha Real Smooth, which also stars Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann, Vanessa Burghardt, and Evan Assante, will be released in select theaters and on Apple TV+ on June 17.