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Movie Review: ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’

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Idina Menzel as Bree Friedman, Samantha Lorraine as Lydia Rodriguez Katz, Adam Sandler as Danny Friedman, Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman and Sadie Sandler as Ronnie Friedman in 'You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.'

(L to R) Idina Menzel as Bree Friedman, Samantha Lorraine as Lydia Rodriguez Katz, Adam Sandler as Danny Friedman, Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman and Sadie Sandler as Ronnie Friedman in ‘You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.’ Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

Debuting on Netflix August 25th, ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ is the latest film under Adam Sandler’s Netflix deal, one that finds him taking a backseat in a supporting role for a title that instead focuses on teen drama.

Sandler is no stranger to recruiting his friends to co-star in his movies, boasting a revolving ensemble of buddies. But for his latest Netflix offering, he switches to feature more of his own family. But before you reach for the “Nepo Baby” klaxon, the result is something that actually works well

Directed by Sammi Cohen (who also handled life and love with last year’s ‘Crush’) and adapted from Fiona Rosenbloom’s book by ‘Work It’ writer Alison Peck, ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ might not trouble the upper echelons of classic teen comedy, but still has entertainment value as a heartfelt exploration of life as a 13-year-old Jewish girl, with all the expectations, hopes and dreams that come with that.

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah

61

PG-131 hr 44 minAug 18th, 2023

Stacy and Lydia are BFFs who’ve always dreamed about having epic bat mitzvahs. But things start to go comically awry when a popular boy and middle school drama threatens… Read the Plot

What’s the story of ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’?

Samantha Lorraine as Lydia Rodriguez Katz and Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman in 'You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.'

(L to R) Samantha Lorraine as Lydia Rodriguez Katz and Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman in ‘You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.’ Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

Lifelong best friends Stacy Friedman (Sunny Sandler) and Lydia (Samantha Lorraine) have long dreamt of epic bat mitzvahs.

But when popular boy Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Hoffman) and Hebrew school drama come between them, their perfect plans go comically awry.

Who else is in ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’?

Sarah Sherman as Rabbi Rebecca and Dan Bulla as Cantor Jerry in 'You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.'

(L to R) Sarah Sherman as Rabbi Rebecca and Dan Bulla as Cantor Jerry in ‘You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.’ Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

The cast of ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ also includes Idina Menzel, Jackie Sandler, Adam Sandler, Sadie Sandler, Sarah Sherman, Dan Bulla, Ido Mosseri, Jackie Hoffman, Zaara Kuttemperoor and Luis Guzmán.

Related Article: Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston Talk Netflix Sequel ‘Murder Mystery 2’

What works about ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’?

Adam Sandler as Danny Friedman and Idina Menzel as Bree Friedman in 'You Are SO Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.'

(L to R) Adam Sandler as Danny Friedman and Idina Menzel as Bree Friedman in ‘You Are SO Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.’ Photo: Scott Yamano/Netflix © 2023.

As mentioned, this is not an Adam Sandler-starring film. He’s certainly there, stealing the occasional scene as Danny, the loving and occasionally confused father to Stacy and Ronnie (played by real-life daughters Sunny and Sadie). Sandler gets a few choice lines but chooses to let Suny in particular drive the narrative.

And on the whole, she does a fine job, graduating from quick appearances in her father’s movies to leading status, carrying the story and bringing Stacy to life in believably teen fashion. Her dynamic with Lorraine as Lydia works well –– erring on the comedy side but never completely sliding into overt wackiness. The pair makes for an appealing couple of leads, occasionally histrionic in true teen fashion, but also clicking as friends on screen.

She has a lot to handle in the film, from chunks of the Torah (young Jewish people learn chunks of Hebrew to read at their Bat or Bar Mitzvah ceremony) to a scene in which she leaps from a cliff into a lake on a dare from schoolmates, only for a bloodstained period pad to ruin her moment of triumph.

Sadie Sandler as Ronnie Friedman and Zaara Kuttemperoor as Zaara in 'You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.'

(L to R) Sadie Sandler as Ronnie Friedman and Zaara Kuttemperoor as Zaara in ‘You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.’ Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

Likewise, Sadie Sandler offers up the slightly more mature energy of highschooler Ronnie, a laidback but loyal older sister who spends most of her time hanging out with best pal Zaara (Zaara Kuttemperoor), watching movies (on an iPhone! Blasphemy!) and making low-key plans (“how is that not weird?” remarks Danny when Ronnie reveals her schedule for the day involves eating then taking a nap outside). The true-life family connection comes into play in the chemistry between Sandler and the girls, with several moments feeling like the three just drawing from their own experiences.

And there some great sequences, such as a shouted argument in the background of a scene between Danny and Stacy that touches on Hitler and a mojito bar.

Around them is a solid supporting cast, including Menzel as Stacy and Ronnie’s mother, (mostly) gracefully indulging her daughters and husband, Sandler’s wife Jackie as Lydia’s mother and the more straightforwardly comic likes of Sarah Sherman as down-with-the-kids Rabbi Rebecca and Ido Mosseri as DJ Schmuley, the tune-spinning whizz every kids wants at their party.

Are there problems with ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’?

Samantha Lorraine as Lydia Rodriguez Katz, Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman and Dylan Hoffman as Andy Goldfarb in 'You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.'

(L to R) Samantha Lorraine as Lydia Rodriguez Katz, Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman and Dylan Hoffman as Andy Goldfarb in ‘You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.’ Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

The few issues that do crop up with the movie are largely minor and don’t ruin the fun. Hoffman as Goldfarb falls into the cliched trap of the hot boy who drives a wedge between our two leading ladies, and his role is your standard pretty boy sports jock introduced in slow motion who only gets briefly explored (his dutiful visits to his grandmother provide Stacy with way into breaking up his relationship with Lydia).

Certain moments are played completely for laughs, somewhat breaking the realistic feel of the story (though seeing DJ Schmuley’s car issues is certainly good for a chuckle). And there is one plot moment revolving around a video that feels like it would be solved in real life by the subject watching it before it reaches their Bat Mitzvah ceremony.

Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman in 'You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.'

Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman in ‘You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.’ Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

For what could be seen as a pure vanity project (or a chance for Sandler to find cheap labor from among his own clan), ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ is better than it has any right to be. The Sandler faithful may not embrace it the way they have his other Netflix efforts, but it feels like the comedy star looking to expand his brand along the lines of ‘Murder Mystery’.

It’s certainly a little sillier and lighter than the likes of ‘The Edge of Seventeen’, but less rude than some other examples of the genre, so it’ll work for a family movie night, parents no doubt nodding along at the portrayal of teen/adult (or “normal”/”old” people from the other side of the equation) relationships. This is further evidence also that going specific with certain aspects of life makes for a universal story that most people can identify with.

‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ receives 7.5 out of 10 stars.

Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman, Samantha Lorraine as Lydia Rodriguez Katz, Sadie Sandler as Ronnie Friedman, Zaara Kuttemperoor as Zaara, Idina Menzel as Bree Friedman and Adam Sandler as Danny Friedman in 'You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.'

(L to R) Sunny Sandler as Stacy Friedman, Samantha Lorraine as Lydia Rodriguez Katz, Sadie Sandler as Ronnie Friedman, Zaara Kuttemperoor as Zaara, Idina Menzel as Bree Friedman and Adam Sandler as Danny Friedman in ‘You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah.’ Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

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