There was a solid amount of buzz coming out of Sundance back in January when Cha Cha Real Smooth debuted, and I honestly forgot about it since then. Most of the hype was around a reserved yet on-her-game Dakota Johnson following up her fantastic performance in The Lost Daughter.
Therefore I am officially here to say, the hype is real folks.
Cha Cha Real Smooth is the sophomore film from writer/director/producer mega-mogul (maybe not a mega-mogul yet) Cooper Raiff and like I mentioned before, was met with critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival. The film follows Andrew (Raiff) who at a young 22 years old is fresh out of college and aimless on what we like to call, just to sound like we know what we're talking about, the path of life. Living on the floor of his younger brother's (Evan Assante) room Andrew works in a mall at a food stand called Meat Sticks, which isn't super important in my summary here but I felt it necessary to let you know the name of the restaraunt. Meat Sticks.
Andrew is a social butterfly that derives his energy and self-worth from being around other people having a good time. Therefore he quickly finds himself thrust into the role of motivational dancer at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, or as he prefers to call it, a jig conductor. He ends up bumping into a mother named Domino (Dakota Johnson) and her autistic daughter Lola (Vanessa Burghardt) and quickly sparks a friendship, eventually serving as a babysitter for Lola and her wonderful hamster Jerry.
The next hour or so of runtime is a concoction of biting comedy, heartbreaking and heartwarming moments, and a lot of dancing. But really what you get is a wonderful film about feeling, wanting, and belonging. Andrew has always been a "heart on his sleeve" kind of guy and that doesn't dissipate throughout the film. But as a young 22 older characters in the film try to remind him that he is young and what he wants and feels right now might not be in the best interest of longevity. Raiff does a great job diffusing serious moments in the film with a little bit of sarcasm or wittiness but it never detracts from the journeys our characters go through.
On top of that Dakota Johnson really puts on a great supporting performance. She's reserved and rather quiet at moments but the weight of her emotions and dialogue are always felt to the full degree. Domino's fiancé Joseph (Raúl Castillo) is also a fantastic character that gives you such simple complexities you can't help but empathize with Andrew and his assumptions being so far off.
Overall Cha Cha Real Smooth is a fun film to watch and a signal to keep an eye on writer/director/producer Cooper Raiff. At only 25 years old Raiff has put out two incredibly well received films, while starring in them, in Shithouse (yes this is a real movie title) and this film. Outside of Raiff, Dakota Johnson continues to have a "did some bad franchise films but now is an indie darling powerhouse" renaissance of her career akin to Robert Pattinson. Roles in Bad Times at the El Royale, Suspiria, The Lost Daughter, Cha Cha Real Smooth and the upcoming Madame Web are all proving just how great of an actress Johnson is!
While I was out and about this past weekend visiting one of my favorite watering holes I came across 2 beautiful things. The first being Seattle Mariners postseason baseball in Seattle, and the second being how wonderful a nice kölsch is on a day that has no business being as hot as it is. Smoke from fires somewhere on this planet, I don't know where but it always finds it's way to Seattle, clouded the sky and made it so uncomfortably hot I was in a constant state of moist. Really the only way to combat such perspiration is with a well brewed, light and delightful kölsch.
Kölsches are especially nice on days when it feels like you're on the surface of the sun because they're specifically brewed to be consumed at a warmer temperature. When the beer is ice cold it will give you less taste than if it was maybe a little under room temperature. A weird concept I know right? Anyway the Sion Kölsch was a perfect way to beat the heat and after such an enjoyable experience I knew I needed more.
This is where Cha Cha Real Smooth comes in. On a warm evening, nothing is better than a great beer and a fun easy watch of a film! The kölsch is as light as the film but just as complex in its own ways. There's some great sweetness from the malt but nothing overwhelming and its light gold body is a perfect indicator in how easy of a drink it is. Its subtle, yet lovely, and at a 4.8% ABV its a nice relaxing end of the weekend kind of drink to get you ready for the week ahead.
So not only did the Mariners break a 21 year drought to make the playoffs, but it would appear as though I broke a 21 article drought and drank something other than an IPA. Basically it's a big year for me and the Mariners.
Sion Kölsch Kölsch - German | 4.8% ABV Brauhaus Sion @brauhaussion