Sundance Hit Cha Cha Real Smooth, Starring Dakota Johnson, Acquired By Apple TV+

Apple TV+ has picked up the worldwide rights to one of the titles from the Sundance Film Festival that you've likely at least heard the name of: "Cha Cha Real Smooth." Our own Ben Pearson gave the film a smashing review at the festival. This one comes to us from writer/director/producer/star (whew!) Cooper Raiff whose first feature, "Shithouse," was the Grand Jury Prize Winner at the SXSW Film Festival in 2020. This is only his second film.  

"Cha Cha Real Smooth" stars Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Brad Garrett, Evan Assante, and Vanessa Burghardt. "Cha Cha Real Smooth" is the story of a young man named Andrew (Raiff) who has just graduated from college. He is living with his mom (Mann), stepdad (Garrett), and his younger brother David (Assante). He meets a young mom named Domino (Johnson) and her autistic daughter Lola (Burghardt) at a bar mitzvah and the two begin a very flirtatious friendship.  

Cooper Raiff is a Jack of All Trades

"Cha Cha Real Smooth" was financed by Erik Feig's PicturesSmart and Endeavor Content. Feig, Jessica Switch, Dakota Johnson, and Ro Donnelly are producers for the film. Johnson is currently getting a ton of buzz for her work in the Netflix film "The Lost Daughter."

Aside from the title that sticks in your head, the reviews coming in for the film are pretty great across the board. The deal was reportedly around $15 million for the rights, making it the biggest deal so far at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. In his review, Pearson says:

"Cha Cha Real Smooth" might feel formulaic to those who have been tracking the evolution of the romantic comedy from its glossy '90s heyday to the more stripped-down, DIY iterations that have taken over in the last several years. But even if its archetypes might feel overly familiar, the formula works for a reason, and when anything is executed with such pure-hearted joy and affection for its characters, you can't help but smile.

I'm not generally a rom-com person, but this film (and the review) has intrigued me. Plus, I'm pretty much willing to watch anything Dakota Johnson is in. I haven't seen Raiff's "Shithouse" yet, but the reviews for that were stellar as well. To have your first two films get this much notice is pretty rare. Be sure to add "Cha Cha Real Smooth" to your must-watch list.