You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah movie poster

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah

In theaters August 25, 2023


101 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , ,

He’s a bit older and more reserved than in the years past, but it’s safe to say that Adam Sandler and comedy are safely back together again! After the unrequested Murder Mystery 2, the sequel to the equally unnecessary <em, Adam Sandler finds his footing again in the Netflix coming-of-age film You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023).

Adapted from Fiona Rosenbloom’s book of the same name, it’s a Sandler family affair in the streaming comedy that finds BFFs Stacy Friedman (played by Adam Sandler’s real-life younger daughter, Sunny Sandler) and Lydia Rodriguez Katz (Samantha Lorraine) on the outs just before each becomes a Bat Mitzvah (the celebration of when a Jewish girl turns 13 and in the eyes of God becomes an adult).

Stacy and Lydia have been best friends since they were little. They know everything about one another, are self-acknowledged dorks, and adore twinning despite it not being cool at their age. Not unlike many girls on the outside of the cool crowd, they make fun of Megan and Kym (who is annoying if for nothing more than because she spells her name with a ‘y’), yet deep down desire to be part of that click. But above else, they are geeked about their impending Bat Mitzvah’s – Lydia with her Candy Land theme and Stacy’s celebrating New York. As Stacy says in her notebook, “I’m not popular. I’m not a loser. I don’t know who I am. But I do know if I have a kick ass Bat Mitzvah doors will open.” One of the doors she hopes will open is to the heart of 7th grade hunk Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Hoffman), star athlete and the girl that everyone wants to date. Stacy and Lydia’s friendship is tested when Stacy catches her best bud locking lips with Andy. What follows is not unlike what girls across the world have experienced – many of the seven stages of grief – but will anger that leads to revenge derail their forever friendship?

Just a few months after the release of another coming-of-age film, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah could be considered the modern day fully Jewish cousin of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Like that movie, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah tackles the challenges of growing up a teenage girl from periods to first crushes. Director Sammi Cohen along with screenwriters Alison Peck and original novelist Rosenbloom capture the struggles of the world’s most awkward age and bring Rosenbloom’s 20-year-old novel into the 2020’s making the film accessible to all generations, particularly Gen Z and their Gen X parents. Cohen even sets the record for the most diverse cast playing Jews including a personal favorite character name – Kym Chang Cohen.

Sunny Sandler is the breakout star in her first leading role. She’s a chip off the old block with her ability to alternate from sweet and innocent to sneaky and conniving – all the while still endearing herself to viewers. Unlike nearly every other film Adam Sander has starred in before though, here he takes a backseat to his own children as he plays the supporting role of dad. And man if he isn’t simply delightful playing not the comedian everyone has grown to love, but Adam Sandler the dad. He’s every father who wants to still hang with his girl as she grows up, who wants to protect her from the troubles of the world, and who yearns to make her laugh to remind himself she’s still his little girl. Playing off his own offspring, everything is so natural – down to his wardrobe which likely was taken from his own closet. Sandler’s older daughter Sadie takes on the role of Stacey’s older sister, Ronnie. And even Sandler’s wife Jackie gets in the game as Lydia’s mom, Gabi.

Girls of all ages will identify with the trials and tribulations of friendship and going through the difficult tween to teen years. And those who are Jewish or have grown up in Jewish communities, they’ll especially relate well to the relentless preparation for the big day, the over-the-top celebrations, and pure mishegas of growing up Jewish.

Netflix recently released the trailer to Leo, another Adam Sandler coming-of-age comedy hitting the streaming giant this November. If the animated comedy about the last year of elementary school brings half the joy of You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, it’s sure to make you plotz.

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Mark Eaton
Mark is an entertainment junkie, spending much of his leisure time watching movies, TV, or listening to any and all genres of music. Most evenings, after finishing a day of work and hanging with his wife and kids, Mark can be found in an eternal battle with his DVR, trying to clear it before another 5-6 hours of shows are recorded the next day. Still reeling from his unpaid gig for the Detroit News where he was fired for being too cruel with his American Idol recaps, Mark is thrilled to be sharing his wicked sense of humor with Movie Reelists.

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