Directed by Cooper Raiff, ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ is a comedy-drama movie that features Raiff as the protagonist, Andrew, a Bar Mitzvah host. He forms an unlikely friendship with Domino (Dakota Johnson), a single mother, and her daughter, Lola, who has autism. The heartfelt film is filled with moments of raw human emotion that will undoubtedly make the viewers tear up.
The narrative tackles several universal themes, such as adulthood and romance, giving the viewers an uncanny coming-of-age story. Naturally, given the film’s grounded and emotional tone, viewers must wonder whether any actual events or true stories inspire it. If you are looking for answers about the inspiration behind ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth,’ here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Is Cha Cha Real Smooth a True Story?
No, ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ is not based on a true story. It is adapted from an original script penned by Cooper Raiff and tells a fictional story about Andrew, a man in his early 20s trying to figure out his place in the world after completing college. In an interview, Raiff discussed the film’s basic premise and how he developed the story. He explained that he wished to explore the uncertainties people face in their 20s. The Dallas native, who is roughly the same age as the character he plays, revealed that he drew inspiration from personal experiences to frame the film’s narrative.
Raiff stated that his 20s are comparable to Andrew’s as he struggled with the same issues as the protagonist. He further explained that in the early 20s, people are expected to host their own parties and make things happen for themselves. There is a level of uncertainty in life as everyone is figuring out various aspects about themselves. Therefore, the director decided to tell the story from the perspective of a character who draws his energy and identity from his association with people. Yet, he struggles to figure out his identity without the influence or presence of others.
Most of the film is set against the Jewish bar mitzvah tradition and the party culture surrounding it. Raiff explained that while he is not Jewish, most of his peers in school while growing up were of that ethnicity. There was a culture of bar mitzvah parties at the writer’s school, and he drew from his experiences at these parties to shape the narrative around the tradition. Furthermore, ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ presents the romantic comedy trope of finding soulmates with a spin and explores how young adults perceive and navigate relationships in their pursuit of lasting love.
Not just that, the film highlights how acts of kindness and respect can go a long way in forging a bond with someone. Ultimately, ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ is not based on any actual event or a particular true story. Instead, it is an aesthetic representation of the life experiences and worldview of its writer-director. The movie’s primary theme is one’s search for individualism and acceptance, and due to its realistic portrayal of these universal themes and human relationships, the narrative resonates with the audience.
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