Screening Room: ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’

In the romantic comedy, Cha Cha Real Smooth, a charismatic-ish slacker (played by writer/director Cooper Raiff) falls for an older woman (Dakota Johnson) while sort of trying to get his post-graduate life together.

Cha Cha Real Smooth has been playing some festivals and will be available on Apple TV this Friday. My review from the Tribeca Film Festival ran at PopMatters and dealt with, in part, the movie’s “bullying need to be liked.”

Here’s the trailer:

Screening Room: ‘Finch’

In Finch, a somewhat inexplicable science fiction movie about Tom Hanks, a robot, and a dog, the end of the world is just not that big a deal, really.

Finch premieres on Apple TV+ this Friday. The kids might like it. My review is at Slant:

Finch (Tom Hanks) is a man possessed of a tinkerer’s buzzing curiosity, an engineer’s problem-solving dedication, and a jaunty way of handling the fact that he might be the only human left on Earth. It makes a kind of sense, in that he’s holding despair at bay while pursuing a task with single-minded devotion. Once that task is made clear, though, you may start to wonder whether the whole film would have been more enjoyable if Finch had simply gone raving mad rather than hang on to his distinctly Hanksian smiling-through-the-grit determination…

Here’s the trailer:

Screening Room: ‘Cherry’

Adapted from Nico Walker’s semi-autobiographical novel, Anthony and Joe Russo’s Cherry stars Tom Holland as a slacker who goes to war and turns to addiction and then bank robbery once back on the home front.

Cherry is playing now on Apple+. My review is at Slant:

“I’m 23 years old,” Cherry says in the narration stringing together the film’s earlier, more hyperactive stretches, “and I still don’t understand what it is that people do.” The center, if he ever had one, is just not holding…

Here’s the trailer: