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Mark Llobrera

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Cover art forCha Cha Real Smooth

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Jan 27, 2024

I find that Apple TV Plus has one of the strongest lineups of original tv programming, but I’m still trying to figure out their feature film strategy—I’ve mostly ignored their releases due to lack of interest.

I enjoyed Cooper Raiff’s directorial feature debut, Shithouse, and this one feels like an extension of his thematic preoccupations from that first film: growing up is hard, regardless of your age/choose kindness/call your mother (man loves a teary conversation between mothers and sons). The budget is higher and it shows with the casting of recognizable faces (Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Brad Garrett). The kids (especially Vanessa Burghardt) do good work. It felt like a really well-made episode of a mid-00s network drama like Parenthood—and by that I mean it’s perfectly fine, competently made, and hit the requisite notes before fading away.