You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah
MOVIE | A safari through the troubled and goofy lives of junior high girls
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➤ S3 / V3 / L4*
A film titled You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah might not seem to have a large target audience. But the movie cuts across all demographic lines with its open-air safari through that most savage of terrains called Junior High. Adam Sandler and his daughter Sunny (with his wife and their other daughter in supporting roles) star in this Brat Pack–like film.
BFFs Stacy (Sunny Sandler) and Lydia (Samantha Lorraine) are the belles of the bat mitzvah, each preparing for what they call the biggest day of their lives. But interest in the same boy drives a wedge between them, and Stacy publicly humiliates Lydia. The film focuses on Stacy’s wrestling with her hurtful actions and their consequences. Along the way, viewers see parents parenting with the limited authority their children delegate to them and children raising themselves on social media. It’s sad.
Stacy has many personal talks with God, but she gets no spiritual help at Hebrew school from her ultracool teacher Rabbi Rebecca (Sarah Sherman), who shakes maracas and sings, “God is random sauce.”
The soundtrack bubbles and sulks like a teen’s Spotify playlist, and the film shines with genuine performances, Sandler’s trademark goofiness, and moments of emotional depth. The film also has a dark side: myriad misuses of God’s name and sexual material (dialogue and revealing attire) involving 13-year-old girls.
Despite all this turmoil, the film contains elements of common grace, culminating with a beautiful scene reminiscent of Jesus’ instructions on reconciliation in Matthew 5:23-24.
*Ratings from kids-in-mind.com, with quantity of sexual (S), violent (V), and foul-language (L) content on a 0-10 scale, with 10 high
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