The latest Sandler Family comedy, You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah, is currently available for streaming. But is it worth your time?
Based on Fiona Rosenbloom’s novel from 2007, the film tells the story of Stacy Friedman, a young Jewish middle schooler eagerly anticipating her upcoming Bat Mitzvah. She hopes to celebrate this milestone with her longtime best friend Lydia and her crush, the charming soccer player Andy Goldfarb. However, as the big day approaches, Stacy’s life begins to unravel, threatening to ruin the event.
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While the film boasts a talented creative team, including director Sammi Cohen (known for Hulu’s Crush) and writer Alison Peck (known for Netflix’s Work It), the main attraction is Adam Sandler himself. Sandler shares the screen with his daughters Sunny and Sadie, who play Stacy and Ronnie respectively, as well as his wife and frequent collaborator Jackie Sandler, who portrays Gabi Rodriguez Katz. The film is also co-produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, a long-time partner of Netflix in the film industry.
Bat Mitzvah is the second of three Adam Sandler Netflix performances this year, following the release of Murder Mystery 2 in March. It is also followed by the upcoming animated film Leo in November. In addition, Happy Madison produced the action comedy The Out-Laws earlier this summer.
Apart from the Sandler family, the cast includes Idina Menzel (known for Uncut Gems), Samantha Lorraine (known for The Walking Dead: World Beyond), Dylan Hoffman, Luis Guzman (known for Wednesday and Punch-Drunk Love), Saturday Night Live’s Sarah Sherman, Ido Mosseri (known for You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), and Jackie Hoffman (known for Shiva Baby, Glass Onion, and Only Murders in the Building).
While the story revolves around various aspects of Judaism, particularly the anxiety-inducing experience of preparing for a Bat Mitzvah, the film appeals to a wider audience by exploring relatable characters navigating their tween/teen lives in the age of social media, as they face the challenges of growing up.
Similar to proms or graduations in high school comedies, the Bat Mitzvah serves as a focal point in the narrative, providing a timeline and adding pressure to the characters’ journeys. It also allows the inclusion of various elements of a young adult’s life, such as family, teachers, friends, and childhood crushes.
Director Sammi Cohen shared the film’s broad appeal in a recent article for Netflix’s TUDUM:
“It appeals to everyone. Kids will see themselves in it, and so will adults. The movie provides insights into the Jewish coming-of-age experience while addressing broader themes of what it means to be a kid today. It’s mostly a fun, exhilarating ride, but there are moments of fear and uncertainty. But hey, that’s adolescence.”
With universal themes, relatable characters, and young adult scenarios, You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah leverages the Sandler name to introduce a unique cultural event rarely explored in film to a wider audience. It delves into an age group that is not often portrayed, especially outside of streaming TV, without relying on supernatural or extraordinary elements. The film tackles topics such as periods, shaving, wearing heels for the first time, popularity dynamics, and navigating female friendships while dealing with budding romances, without the need for looming threats like Stranger Things or metaphorical transformations like Turning Red. It serves as a lighthearted, modernized companion to critically acclaimed book adaptation Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, released earlier this year.
Bat Mitzvah also showcases the talent of the Sandler sisters. While they have appeared in their father’s films since they were young children, their roles have been limited with minimal dialogue. In this film, Sunny Sandler delivers a consistently genuine performance as the protagonist Stacy Friedman, showcasing her acting skills and range. Meanwhile, Sadie Sandler injects every scene she’s in with comedic timing, sharp wit, and a necessary presence as the older sister Ronnie. Both actresses demonstrate their ability to break away from the “Sandler Films Only” mold they have been cast in.
The soundtrack, although not fully developed and slightly scattered, stands out in the film. It is almost mandatory for a Netflix teen-focused film to feature an Olivia Rodrigo song, and this film is no exception. The dance party scenes are filled with catchy tunes from Icona Pop, Dua Lipa, Santigold, Selena Gomez, and more. There are also modern rock hits from Haim, Grouplove, and Weezer, as well as the classic slow dance song “Easy” by Commodores for the older crowd. You can find the full list here to create your own personalized Bar or Bat Mitzvah experience.
Overall, You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah is a light and enjoyable journey through the challenges of modern middle school life and the valuable lessons that lead to young adulthood. Regardless of religion or cultural background, the film focuses on relatable aspects of finding one’s place in the world, treating others with kindness, and discovering one’s true self. While not every joke lands and not every character fully blossoms, Bat Mitzvah honors the Sandler name with its humor, charm, and surprisingly effective performances from a talented young cast. The breakout performances by the Sandler sisters are particularly noteworthy.
Watch You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah If You Like
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
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MVP of You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah
The Sandler Sisters!
As mentioned earlier, Sunny and Sadie Sandler have appeared in their father’s films since they were very young, but they have rarely had the opportunity to showcase their talents. Bat Mitzvah allows them to fully demonstrate their acting range and abilities, and they rise to the challenge. Sunny carries the film with her genuine, understated, and believable performance as Stacy, pulling us into her character’s world of anxiety and constant change. Meanwhile, Sadie delivers plenty of laughs with her quick wit as the snappy yet wise older sister, Ronnie. Both actresses show great potential for a future career in teen comedy or indie dramedy.
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Bat Mitzvah stands out from the typical Happy Madison Productions, bringing a relatable core to a culturally significant event. With credible performances, just the right amount of humor, and the chemistry of the Sandler family, this film is a worthwhile addition to the coming-of-age genre.
Originally published at You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah Review – Should You Watch Netflix‘s New Sandler Movie?