Filmmaker Cooper Raiff was raised in Dallas. He was a high school student who performed in school plays. Then he moved on to writing.
His career as a director was on the upswing with 2020’s Shithouse, his first feature. He was praised by critics and distributed through IFC Films. Sundance premiered his second effort, Apple’s Cha Cha Real Smooth.
He directed, produced, and wrote the script. Apple purchased it for $15 million, and the audience prize was won.
Cooper Raiff is a 23-year-old director at Shithouse and a talented young filmmaker. He has already produced a comedy called Cha Cha Real Smooth and is currently developing a series for TV and film that he will make himself.
His abilities as an actor, director, and producer are unparalleled. His ability to give authentic and heartfelt performances makes him so popular. He is imposing as the star of Shithouse, named the 2020 SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner.
This is why Shithouse works. The movie takes the teen-adolescent-in-denial-and-the-unknown-and-the-uncomfortable teen drama tropes and puts them in the most sincere, relatable context possible.
It’s as much Joe Swanberg’s and Mark Duplass’s efforts (mumblecore pioneers) as Raiff’s college experiences.
The 23-year-old alumnus’s debut feature, which won the SXSW Best Narrative Film Award, is rare in that it surpasses all expectations. It is a sincere, earnest film that captures the director’s unique vision. This makes it easy for viewers to root for him in an industry that can often inspire cynicism.
Cha Cha Real Smooth
Cooper Raiff’s 2020’s Shithouse, his first feature film, was a testament to his talents as a director. He was 25 when he directed and wrote the SXSW-winning movie. Jay Duplass, Dakota Johnson, and others make up his impressive cast. Cha Cha Real Smooth is his follow-up.
Cooper Raiff plays Andrew, a directionless college student who returns home to New Jersey in Cha Cha Real Smooth. He makes friends with Domino Johnson (a single mom from the area) and her autistic daughter Lola.
It’s about finding meaning in a world that seems to be constantly in the wrong direction. It celebrates the joys of age and normalizes those with disabilities, whether mental or physical.
Cooper Raiff is a fantastic dancer; this film has a lot of energy. He uses top-notch cinematography and editing to complement his emotional journeys.
The Spectacular Now & You
Cooper Raiff is a director/actor that quickly established himself in the independent film world. His first feature, Shithouse, was a massive success at SXSW.
Cooper Raiff has since had stars like Dakota Johnson and Leslie Mann on board for Cha Cha Real Smooth.
He cites his Duplass heritage as a significant influence, but he also learned to use his skills and make the most of smaller projects. He is still learning and growing but has the potential for greatness.
Cha Cha Real Smooth features a great cast and Dakota Johnson, who are incredibly magnetic. The film captures young people’s fear and confusion when faced with a frighteningly uncertain future. It is an honest and mature film.
Earl and the Dying Girl
Greg’s senior year is the setting for this story. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” follow Greg (Thomas Mann), a high school student who has emotionally closed off and splits his time between making art-film parodies and refusing to commit to anyone and anything. He learns to love and accept others.
Even at its most harrowing moments, the movie still feels natural. Thomas Mann’s talented cast makes this film great for teens and adults.
Alfonso Gomez Rejon, a director based on Jesse Andrews’ novel of the name, combines elements from his debut feature “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” and the cult classic, “Cha Cha Real Smooth” into this touching coming-of-age story about friendship and self-discovery. This movie is a great one that will stay with you for a long time.