Flashing colorful lights, a video montage playing on the screen and the top hits of the 2010s blasting through speakers — if you attended a bar or bat mitzvah nearly every weekend in seventh grade, this movie is for you.
Produced by Adam Sandler’s company, Happy Madison Productions, in conjunction with Alloy Entertainment, “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” is an enjoyable teen comedy about the middle school drama and growing pains that Jewish adolescents experience as they transition into adulthood.
Based on the titular young adult novel by Fiona Rosenbloom, the film directed by Sammi Cohen and written by Alison Peck released on Netflix on Aug. 25.
Sandler’s real-life daughters Sunny and Sadie play on-screen sisters Stacy and Ronnie Friedman, respectively. It was adorable to watch the dynamic between the Sandler girls starring in their father’s production.
Famous Broadway actress Idina Menzel portrays their mother Bree, and Sandler acts as their sarcastic Jewish dad Danny. Since Sandler and his family are Jewish in real life, drawing from personal experiences helps them accurately portray their characters.
The remaining cast features actress Samantha Lorraine as Stacy’s best friend Lydia, Jackie Sandler as Lydia’s mother and SNL comedian Sarah Sherman as the hilarious reform Rabbi Rebecca.
Stacy and Lydia have planned their bat mitzvahs together for years and are finally able to put their plan into action as they enter seventh grade. When a cute boy in their grade comes between them, however, their friendship faces several challenges.
From the male characters wearing the Star of David necklaces to Stacy practicing her Torah portion using an audio recording to the service binders to the gossiping bubbies (Yiddish for grandmothers), the film is undeniably Jewish.
Sunny Sandler and Lorraine skillfully depict the highs and lows of a middle school friendship.
Though Adam Sandler takes a back seat in the film, this might be his most authentic role yet. He effortlessly plays the sarcastic Jewish dad. Ronnie yelling at him over and over echoes experiences I have had and witnessed with older daughters and their dads throughout my life.
Even though the middle school drama was a little cliche, this was a fabulous movie. It balances comedy, nostalgia and family themes, rightfully reflecting a reform Jewish family’s experiences.
“You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” will resonate most with Jews for its stellar representation. However, the film will be entertaining for anyone who just wants a good laugh.