Cha Cha Smooth: Cooper Raiff’s Sophomore Effort, Audience Award Winner

In 2020, Cooper Raiff, then 23, made a splash with his feature debut, the coming-of-age tale Shithouse, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Fest.

Cha Cha Smooth, Raiff’s sophomore effort, is more mainstream, conventional, and a tad too generic, which may explain why it won the Audience Award at the 2022 Sundance Film Fest.

In Cha Cha Smooth, another vivid portrait of early adulthood, he plays an aimless college grad with a niche but unenviable job: bar mitzvah hype man.

He gets people moving at parties where the main demographic is in middle school. Raiff wrote and directed again. Dakota Johnson stars alongside him in the drama.

The title is a nod to the quintessential PG-13 party song, DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide.”

About Cooper Raiff

Dallas native Cooper Raiff burst onto the scene in 2020 with his debut feature film, Shithouse, a semi-autobiographical account of first-year college gloom that he wrote, directed and starred in.

A graduate of the Greenhill School, Raiff pitched an early version of the movie to filmmaker Jay Duplass on Twitter. Duplass not only liked it, he also joined the project, helping develop the final version, which won the top prize in its category at South by Southwest.