Sundance Boy Wonder Cooper Raiff Isn’t as Solipsistic as His Characters

It’s easy to confuse the real Cooper Raiff with the young, hopeful, emotional characters he creates for himself. TK-old has written, directed and starred in two independent films, 2020 Shithouse (worth watching despite the title!) and just released Cha Cha is so smoothand they’re both pretty good – in fact, so sweet and engaging, that might have encouraged those who’ve watched them to interpret the theism of the characters Raiff plays as self-esteem. he.

It’s hard to make that assumption directly: Raiff is both softer-spoken and more serious than Andrew, the guy in Cha Cha is so smooth who graduated from college and got an informal job as a party starter for local bars. (Andrew is not a Jew, and neither is Raiff.) When we speak in a coffee shop in Ridgewood, Queens, he can be amazingly direct, maintaining eye contact and confidently, lean forward in your seat. He’s not sociable like Andrew and he’s not as hesitant as Alex, a lonely freshman from Shithouse. (About those titles: “I want to make a movie where, when the title tag comes up at the end, you say: “I really love that title.” However, he admits,” goes to a movie theater and say, ‘two tickets for CHa Cha Real Smooth‘ at first it was like, damned. ” )

However, these characters are clearly springs from his own experiences. Shithouse particularly attuned to an emotional reality of college that is not often depicted. “College movies are about 50-year-olds, people like What a great playground,” Raiff noted. He wanted to explore another idea: “the pain of leaving home and growing up.”

Raiff cites the 2007 film version of the youth novel Bridge to Terabithia sparked his youthful interest in filmmaking, along with Sofia Coppola’s work, especially Lost in translationThe author’s clear voice drew him into the idea of ​​​​writing the film: “She was saying something very specific, and the way she said it was funny, and humbling, but poignant. .”

He traced the invisible map on the table while making his point. It was a casual gesture, but it seemed appropriate: Raiff outlined the character idea for what has become Cha Cha is so smooth for several years before actually writing the full script. Andrew, a serious 22-year-old without many boundaries, crosses paths with Domino (Dakota Johnson) and his autistic daughter Lola (Vanessa Burghardt), who are partly based on a relationship that one of the Raiff’s sisters, who have a disability, shared. their mother. Andrew, like Alex is homesick Shithouse, also has a close relationship with his biological mother, played by Leslie Mann; the film is an all-New Jersey ecosystem of parent-child, mother-friend, next-generation siblings, and high school acquaintances, sketched with tender details. dear. I told him I love the mother-daughter relationship in his films, he tenderly portrays the family relationships that broader comedies can use as a joke. , and asked about his relationship with his mother. “I think I’m definitely a mother’s son, but I really value that, I guess?” he says. Sundance Boy Wonder Cooper Raiff Isn’t as Solipsistic as His Characters

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