YOU ARE SO NOT INVITED TO MY BAT MITZVAH is a sharp, well-written, coming-of-age movie that includes the Adam Sandler family. The big surprise is that the film delivers and does not disappoint.   

Stacy (Sunny Sandler) is a breath of fresh air. She uses her facial expressions to her advantage and gets great results. Her comedic timing is impeccable.  She can easily command “the stage” and hold her own, even playing against her famous father.   

This movie could be accused of nepotism, and that would be true, but it works brilliantly. Adam plays the dad, Danny, along with his older sister, Sadie, portraying (who else) the older sister, Ronnie. Adam’s wife in real life (Jackie Sandler) is the mother of Stacy’s best friend. To round out the group, Idina Menzel plays Adam’s wife in the movie (Brea). Perfect casting. It feels authentic, and the situations ring true.   

YASNITMBM shares those awesome and horrible moments of everyone’s 13th year of life. There is so much angst surrounding the first kiss, friendships, peer groups, boy crushes, skin, body, hair issues, and rich, dark secrets between BFFs. In the Jewish religion, we celebrate “becoming a woman” (or a man) with a special reading from our Torah followed by a kick-ass party. It is the biggest event in our young lives. I remember my Bat Mitzvah party as if it was yesterday. (First dance with Cliff Spiegal…oh, be still my young heart.) I also have vivid memories of Aaron’s Big Carnival event and Ilisa’s Ren faire. A Bat or Bar Mitzvah is a big deal, and the writers and director hit a bull’s eye on Stacy’s.   

Another feature of the film is all of the humor. There are many laugh-out-loud lines. (That’s the way the hamantaschen crumbles.) It will entertain and delight the entire family, even if you know nothing about Jewish culture. This is due in part to the hilarious and quirky Rabbi played by Sarah Sherman. She is a hoot. She has “razzle-dazzle,” especially when she sings her reply to every outlandish question asked of her. I could not stop laughing. I silently wished she was my Rabbi. I would not miss a service.   

YOU ARE SO NOT INVITED TO MY BAT MITZVAH is a loving entry in our old diaries. It showcased those tough decisions about who we want to be when on the brink of adulthood. Adam Sandler wisely took the back seat to his creative, talented family. It is a heartfelt story that will make you smile and relive those messy, extraordinary days. Don’t miss this one. It is available to stream on NETFLIX.   

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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