Cha Cha Real Smooth Is Not Realistic

Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson in “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” premiering June 17, 2022 on Apple TV+.

Cha Cha Real Smooth makes its arrival on Apple TV+ but the film is the least realistic movie ever written about Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties.

There is a pecking order of people receiving Bar and Bat Mitzvah party invitations. I know this because of my own experiences growing up as a Jew and attending so many of them during 6th through 8th grade. Maybe things have changed in recent years but this holds true to my experiences in the past 25 years or more.

Speaking from my own experience, this is the pecking order:

  • Family members
  • A limited amount of friends of the family and this also includes my dad’s co-workers
  • Sunday/Hebrew School/Cotillion class
  • Public School classmates but only the ones I was friends with
  • Maybe a few friends for younger siblings

If I wasn’t friends with someone in school, they were not getting invited. The size of the venue plays a large factor  when it comes to who will be attending. When one comes from a large family, they will invite fewer family friends. Parents of classmates will not get an invite if the parents are not close friends. Older siblings rarely get an opportunity to invite people to their younger sibling’s simcha. This is the reality. Asking me to buy into this film is like asking me to buy into Batman v. Superman. It is impossible!

It’s through this experience that I have a hard to buying into what Cha Cha Real Smooth is asking. The way the film came off, Lola wasn’t really friends with those celebrating their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Making matters even worse is that Dakota Johnson’s Domino is just sitting off in the back, not appearing friendly with anyone else. It begs me to ask the question of why is she there? Coming from my own experience, it’s unlikely that either would be attending. It feels really unlikely that either one would receive an invitation in real life. Parents only have so much money to spend on these parties and they are not spending it on people they aren’t friends with. I said as much when I wrote my review during Sundance. This does not even begin to get into the portrayal of Judaism in the film.

It’s possible that Cooper Raiff’s Andrew meets Domino in another venue but no, they would never ever meet at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Neither Domino or Lola are Jewish and unless Domino is friends with the parents, she’s not going to receive any Bar or Bat Mitzvah invitations anytime soon.

Apple TV+ launches Cha Cha Real Smooth on June 17, 2022.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.