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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022)

I really want to go to Meat Sticks. It sounds disgusting but I bet it's delicious. So here we are finally, thanks to Apple, getting to sit down with one of those movies that I have jealously seen everyone else watching, but was unable to watch myself.

I don't get that feeling very often, as I have learned these days not to 'anticipate' anything, just incase it underwhelms, which would be my fault, and not the film's issue.

Thankfully though, in this case, the huge outpouring of love and affection for this movie seems entirely warranted and my inner hype has suffered no repercussions.

The story of a young mother (Johnson), her autistic daughter (Vanessa Burghardt) and Andrew (starring, written and directed by Cooper Raiff) comes across as a little too Wonder Years at the outset. You know, rose-tinted memoria of idyllic, time-frozen moments, where life smiled benevolently upon you, asking for nothing in return. Remember those?

Reality inevitably bites uninvited, which leads you to toiling in processed food retail, perhaps, and even with the best intentions, not knowing what you really want or who to do that with can strike without warning. No surprise then that when the naturally caring Andrew and Domino meet, their relationship is boosted by his natural affinity with her young daughter, to which he becomes occasional babysitter and ear for Domino.

"Giving your heart to someone is the scariest, most dangerous, most perplexing thing."

This is a rarely witnessed coming-of-age story, from the perspective of an arguably under-developed young man, which is beautifully paced performed and written with bags of good feelings and personal tragedies that echo back into your subconscious if you're of a certain age. Raiff is a man of enviable talent, with a heart and soul he wears clearly on his sleeve.

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