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“Cha Cha Real Smoth” shows that men can – and should – cry

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At the age of 25, Cooper Raiff wrote, directed and produced the film, and also stars as the lead, a sensitive and sincere young man with feelings.

In one of the most famous scenes of the series Star Wars, Leia (Carrie Fisher) addresses Han Solo (Harrison Ford) as he is led away by Boba Fett and finally exits. “I love you,” says the princess The empire strikes again. Solo’s famous answer: “I know”. in the head of Cooper Raiff, a 25-year-old who is the new sensation in American cinema, this dialogue would never happen. “I can’t identify myself,” she said in an interview with Estadio the actor, director and screenwriter, of which Cha Cha Real Smooth – The next step is available on Apple TV +. His response to Leia’s line would have been “I love you too, I’m so scared!” said in tears. “I would never write that scene like Harrison Ford did. I’m not Harrison Ford.”

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Surely not. Cha Cha Real Smooth he won over the audience of the last Sundance Festival, which he left with an audience award and a hefty $ 15 million check from the Apple acquisition, precisely for failing to bet on a traditional model of masculinity and being honest with his feelings. Andrew, the protagonist played by Cooper Raiff himself, is sensitive, attentive to other people and cries a lot. Is it important to portray other types of masculinity? “Probably, but I don’t really think about it,” Raiff said. “Write what you know. And I cry all the time. This is what feels authentic to me.”

Andrew is 22, and like many Gen Zs and millennials, he’s struggling to find his place in the world. After graduation, his girlfriend went to Barcelona, ​​and he returned to his hometown, sharing a room with his younger brother, David (Evan Assante), at his mother’s (Leslie Mann) home and his new husband, Greg (Brad Garrett). Even his job as a fast-food clerk isn’t exciting.

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One night, she has to accompany David to a bar mitzvah. Andrew ends up livening up a dejected evening and drawing the attention of Domino (Dakota Johnson), the beautiful mother of autistic and bullied Lola (Vanessa Burghardt). He immediately becomes the official party entertainer and nanny of Lola, whom he treats with sensitivity and without paternalism. Andrew is enchanted by Domino, who, alone, lacks the 20 years she never had because she was already Lola’s mother, she ends up reciprocating in a way, despite her being engaged to Joseph (Raúl Castillo).

family inspiration

The film was inspired by Cooper Raiff’s mother’s relationship with her sister, who is neurodivergent and cannot walk or talk. “He was very emotional for me,” said the actor, director and screenwriter. But he left room for the actors to bring their contributions. Raiff had a shred of script when Dakota Johnson joined the project as an actress and producer. “Cooper has always been very open to me helping him with the Domino character. We wrote together, we talked a lot, he included things I said in the script,” Johnson said at a virtual press conference.

Lola’s search practically came to an end when she saw the video sent by newcomer Vanessa Burghardt, who is as autistic as her character. “The most exciting part for me was seeing this audition and Vanessa’s relationship with her mother, which destroyed me,” said Raiff. “This was the most special part of making the film. I wanted to make a film about that intangible and profound feeling even if in a superficial way, because it can move in unimaginable ways. I will never be able to reproduce what it is, but I wanted to do it. a movie about it “.

For Burghardt, the important thing was that Lola looked like a person who exists. “She’s just a person, I didn’t want her to represent anything or prove anything. I wanted her to be her,” he said.

award-winning debut

Cha Cha Real Smooth was Cooper Raiff’s second feature film released in less than a year. Previous one, the freshman, on his debut, he won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Fiction at South by Southwest in March 2020. But being a director wasn’t exactly his plan. “I’ve always loved movies and wanted to be a part of them, but I would rather have been in other people’s projects, to be honest,” she said.

Since he couldn’t, he made a version of it the freshman A no-nonsense 50-minute film that caught the attention of actor, producer and director Jay Duplass. And so he began his journey. At 25 he is preparing his third job.

Cooper Raiff has come at the right time, when cynicism in the cinema shows signs of fatigue because there is no way to compete with real life. His gaze on human beings is loving, acknowledging that basically everyone is just trying to do their best. And that it’s okay to shed a few tears or say “I love you” when you feel like it.

Source: Terra

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