Cha Cha Real Smooth review – a wry romcom that’s shamelessly manipulative

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In his second film, whiz-kid Cooper Raiff gives himself another starring role as an adorable bar mitzvah host who meets Dakota Johnson’s older woman

It could go either way with Cooper Raiff, the American writer, director and star of Sundance Audience award-winner Cha Cha Real Smooth. There’s an undeniable charm to this wry tale of a directionless college leaver (Raiff) who gets a job as a bar mitzvah host and strikes up a friendship with an older woman (Dakota Johnson) and her autistic daughter. Still only 25 and already on his second feature, Raiff knows exactly what he’s doing – Cha Cha is funny, honest and shamelessly manipulative. He’s a talent to watch. He also, given his propensity to cast himself as adorable goofball characters who are curiously irresistible to women, has the potential to turn into one of the pre-eminent cinematic irritants of the next decade, so fingers crossed on this one.

In select cinemas and on Apple TV +

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