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Film Review: YOU ARE SO NOT INVITED TO MY BAT MITZVAH (2023): Netflix Comedy is a True Gem for Just About Anyone Who Likes Adam Sandler

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Sarah Sherman Sunny Sandler You Are So Not Invited To My Batmitzvah

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah Review

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023) Film Review, a movie directed by Sammi Cohen, written by Alison Peck and Fiona Rosenbloom and starring Adam Sandler, Idina Menzel, Jackie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, Sadie Sandler, Samantha Lorraine, Dylan Hoffman, Sarah Sherman, Dan Bulla, Ido Mosseri, Jackie Hoffman, Luis Guzman, Dean Scott Vazquez, Miya Cech, Ivory Baker, Dylan Chloe Dash, Millie Thorpe and Zaara Kuttemperoor.

Sammi Cohen has directed what is sure to be one of the year’s most entertaining and endearing Netflix comedies, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah. This is like “Saturday Night Live” meets a modern day, Jewish version of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. It’s hugely entertaining with a likable cast that has so many great additions that it’s hard to single just one out. A fair analysis of the movie would depend on separating the child performers from the adults because the grown ups are just here for the kids to shine. That’s not to say the grown ups aren’t having a blast. They are, indeed. But, this movie was made as a vehicle to launch the acting career of Sandler’s daughter, Sunny Sandler who plays the lead role in You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah. And, Sunny leads the cast of child actors who are quite talented.

Adam Sandler plays Danny Friedman who is married to Bree (Idina Menzel). They have two daughters, Ronnie (the sarcastically humorous Sadie Sandler) and Stacy (Sunny Sandler) who seem to bicker and argue a lot. Stacy longs to impress the guy of her dreams, Andy Goldfarb (a funny Dylan Hoffman). Stacy also yearns to wear a pair of high heel shoes but ultimately ends up in her more comfortable Converses. Stacy’s bestie is Lydia Rodriguez Katz (Samantha Lorraine) whose mom is played by Jackie Sandler, Adam’s real-life wife.

While Adam Sandler gets to be his usual funny self in scenes like the one where he buys pads for Stacy, this movie belongs to Sunny as Stacy. Sunny has a lot of personality whether Stacy is posing for her camera or voluntarily feeding the parking meters of local citizens to do a good deed.

This film revolves around an upcoming Bat Mitzvah for Lydia and a lot of other subplots as well. Stacy really likes Andy and wants to impress him even if it means jumping off a cliff into the water. Unfortunately, that dive leads to her bloody pad floating in the water. Talk about embarrassing moments. A problem with Stacy and Andy hitting it off is that Lydia and Andy seem to be something of an item which complicates the plot. Eventually, Stacy will get to kiss Andy but when they smooch in the temple (their place of worship), Danny makes sure to scold Stacy for being disrespectful.

The absolute scene-stealer here is Sarah Sherman as Rabbi Rebecca who is, hands down, the most unique thing about this film. Sherman gets to be funny without coming off as too silly as she talks to her students in humorous ways and tries to teach her class lessons on life while being very articulate. Rabbi Rebecca is surprisingly accurate in the positive way she asserts herself. Sherman emulates the best qualities of “Saturday Night Live” performers like Tina Fey or Molly Shannon but Sherman is a one-of-a-kind original who almost walks away with the movie in just a few scenes.

Dean Scott Vazquez plays the young Mateo who develops a crush on Stacy. Vazquez is adorable and plays a pretty sweet role and as far as the kids in the supporting cast go, he’s the standout. A nerdy girl who shaves her armpits named Nikki is runner up as played by the charming Millie Thorpe. Adult-wise, Luis Guzman as “Uncle Eli” is a standout role for the actor who hasn’t been this funny in years. Ido Mosseri also shines as a key character who tries to park in a handicapped zone at one hilarious point in the movie.

There are really many true-to-life scenes here that have quirkiness to them and they thus feel authentic. Take when Bree takes Stacy to buy a dress and the price is too high for the one Stacy wants. Also, when Lydia’s mom requests a video that Stacy made for Lydia’s party, it leads to all hell breaking loose which is awkward but believable. That scenario leads the movie to a very touching and satisfying climax which will be a real audience pleaser.

I don’t know why Sammi Cohen’s movie feels so fresh and original because it’s probably been done before but the film’s attractive cast helps carry the movie towards victory, especially Sunny Sandler in the lead role. Her on-screen appeal is going to be relatable to teenage girls across the country and this movie could be a conversation starter for teens when they return to school this September.

The Bat Mitzvah ritual has always been a fascinating one. The movie details right at the beginning the way young people are thrown into adulthood in different cultures. The Jewish experience regarding the Bat Mitzvah is one full of celebration and joy and those beautiful feelings are mostly in full view in this movie.

Are there problems here? Of course. The movie is too goofy for its own good at times but that’s one of its assets as well. To see such a well assembled cast of characters (several of whom are related) is proof that it just takes having fun to make an entertaining movie and the performers here seem to be having a ball.

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is touching and quite funny. Adam Sandler may have made this movie as a gift to his daughter but the audience is ultimately the ones receiving the gift of her remarkable talent. Samantha Lorraine, as Sunny’s friend, also has a screen presence that could lead to bigger roles for the young actress. In the end, this movie is a laugh riot that is well worth seeing. It marks Sarah Sherman’s cinematic introduction and she’ll be in plenty of more films to come if her work in this film is any indication of her bright future ahead.

Rating: 8/10

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