You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023) Review

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023)
Director: Sammi Cohen
Screenwriters: Alison Peck
Starring: Adam Sandler, Idina Menzel, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, Samantha Lorraine, Dylan Hoffman, Sarah Sherman

The last time Idina Menzel and Adam Sandler tried to raise a good, Jewish family together, Sandler ended up in the trunk of a loan shark’s car and Idina’s father found himself hundreds of dollars in debt. The film was Uncut Gems (2019). This time around, Stacy Friedman (Sunny Sandler) is planning her Bat Mitzvah and the stakes are just as high. 

Sure, the cerebral A24 cult classic and the family flick boasting an Olivia Rodrigo needle drop might not have a lot in common, but this does speak to the versatility of the Sandler family. We can’t help but to compare the two sides of fatherhood––from gambling addiction to embarrassing your daughter at the movies on a Saturday night, Adam Sandler has done it all. 

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is a family comedy about the woes of 7th grade Stacy Friedman who is desperate to have the coolest Bat Mitzvah in the school. This is no simple task given her best friend, Lydia (Samantha Lorraine), is already totally rich with a huge mansion and neither girl is exactly in with the popular crowd. To make matters more complicated, a good Bat Mitzvah needs a killer DJ, a crazy venue, and a dance with the cutest boy in school, Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Hoffman). Of course, the latter causes some major tensions between the two best friends. As Stacy and Lydia careen into womanhood, they must overcome their feud to throw the ultimate party. 

The Sandler children, who play sisters Stacy and Ronnie (Sadie Sandler), are undeniably charming and turn up that sibling rivalry the way only true sisters can. Even Jackie Sandler has her moment in a cameo as Lydia’s mother Bree. The story, which is already a sweet tale of growing up, is made that much more genuine with the family connection. It is clear that the cast is a tight knit group of Sandler’s friends and family. In the case of this film, if the cast is having fun, we are too.

The film also works as a heartfelt crash course in coming of age in a Jewish community. The world is carefully crafted with sentimental details that explore a vibrant New York community. One of the highlights is the over the top Hebrew School teacher Rabbi Rebecca (Sarah Sherman) who provides tough love, guidance, and of course a themed song when the students come to class. Throughout the film, we get a sense of the closeness of this community but also the pressure to perform for their peers. Here it is proven that the universal lies in the specifics. 

Additionally, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is an ode to girlhood. Soundtracked by hits from the likes of Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Remi Wolf, and Selena Gomez, the film feels informed by real teenage girls. Unlike other Netflix Originals that are fraught with disjointed Gen Z slang and cringy references to outdated trends, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah manages to feel current and in the know (which is a soaring feat for a culture that moves as fast as ours does). The flick is angsty, melodramatic, and flamboyant enough to be ripped from the pages of a teenage girl’s diary––where a boy ignoring you in the hallway feels like the biggest tragedy in human history. 

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is a quick and enjoyable watch that is good for reminiscing on the plights of early teendom. Sandler’s comedy seems to mature with his growing family. While it maintains his usual goofy antics, he steps aside to make room for his daughters––who prove that they are worthy comedy leads and then some. The family comes together to make a heartwarming and silly comedy that is great for a pick me up. 

Score: 18/24

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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