You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah–starring Adam Sandler and the rest of the Sandler family–is unapologetically Jewish.
Adam Sandler films can be family affairs but usually he’s starring in the films while wife Jackie and daughters Sadie and Sunny make cameo appearances. This time around, Jackie has a minor role while Sadie and Sunny are front and center. Let me tell you, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Have we reached a point where Sandler could revisit previous characters with his daughters starring as his on-screen children? I’d like to think so.
Stacy Friedman (Sunny Sandler) and Lydia Rodriguez Katz (Samantha Lorraine) are best friends and have dreamed together of celebrating epic bat mitzvahs. Unfortunately for them, Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Hoffman) stands between them and and an epic night? What happens when their friendship suddenly falls apart? What does this mean for their bat mitzvahs let alone the party of their dreams? Will they ever be able to forgive each other? That’s the gist of the film in a nutshell. Regardless, it is unapologetically Jewish in terms of handling the coming-of-age story.
Stacy lives with her parents, Danny (Adam Sandler) and Bree Friedman (Idina Menzel), and older sister Ronnie (Sadie Sandler). Both Menzel and the Sandman have previous chemistry from starring together in Uncut Gems. It’s certainly nice to see them reuniting together in this film. Sandler’s wife, Jackie, stars as Lydia’s mother, Gabi Rodriguez Katz.
One thing that the film does is handle the diversity aspect of the Jewish community. Interestingly, the film depicts a Reform shul on screen while filming at a Conservative shul in Toronto. I personally could have done without the guitar during the Bat Mitzvah service but that comes from growing up in Conservative and Orthodox shuls. In any event, the film’s comedy targets the younger generation while giving the Sandman enough material to draw his own fans to press play. There is plenty of comedy to satisfy Jewish viewers including party starter DJ Schmuley (Ido Mosseri). At the end of the year, this will the best Jewish film getting a Netflix release in 2023. It hits all the check boxes and does not have any casting controversies. Plus, you can never go wrong with casting Jackie Hoffman either.
When people think about teen movies, John Hughes typically comes to the forefront. Appropriately, there’s a nice easter egg that pays homage to his impact on the genre. It’s been nearly 40 years since the filmmaker started having an impact on the genre. The vocabulary certainly evolves through the years. However, screenwriter Alison Peck and director Sammi Cohen know how today’s teens communicate with their friends and family. It’s why this film feels so different than the many Sandler movies through the years. His name is why we’re pressing play but it’s more of a vehicle for his children. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.
You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah is less of an Adam Sandler comedy in as much as it is a film about the importance of relationships in one’s life. In addition to this film, both Sandler daughters are also appearing with the Sandman in Leo, a film due out this November on Netflix. Will they be doing more films together in the future? Time will tell.
DIRECTOR: Sammi Cohen
SCREENWRITER: Alison Peck
CAST: Idina Menzel, Jackie Sandler, Adam Sandler, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, Samantha Lorraine, Dylan Hoffman, Sarah Sherman, Dan Bulla, Ido Mosseri, Jackie Hoffman, Zaara Kuttemperoor, and Luis Guzmán