✰✰✰ (out of five)
Synopsis: A man who works as a bar mitzvah party host strikes up a unique friendship with a young woman and her teenage daughter.
Review: Cha Cha Real Smooth is that coming of age story based in the Garden State universe, a hip indie film about a man in his 20s finding his way in the world with quirky events ensuing. The main difference is I could relate to Zack Braff's lead in Garden State, a bit of a loner with quiet shyness whereas Cooper Raiff's Andrew is definitely outgoing, so to compare the two films is a bit unfair. Garden State holds a particular place in my heart given personal experiences I went through at that time it came out. Now that I am approaching my 40s, I view similarly compared films through a different lens. While I still hold to my love of Garden State, Cha Cha Real Smooth suffers from overindulgence. This may lie at the feet of Raiff considering he is writer, director and star (much like Braff was for Garden State). That is not to say there are charms in this film. Dakota Johnson as a struggling wife and mother also looking for her own purpose but with a different context. Her autistic daughter Lola bonds with Andrew, and it's this actress Vanessa Burghardt that brings the true meaning of the film and pushes it above the excess.
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