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Puttin’ on the mitz

A milestone moment in a teenage girl’s life is at the centre of new comedy You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah

Life is a tapestry of tiny moments, but some moments are more significant than others. Whether you looked forward to a quinceañera, a Sweet 16, your senior prom or another teenage milestone event, it seems more than likely that the day came and went with a certain level of anticipation and expectation. Unfortunately, those two feelings often team up to create unattainable standards, as is the case in Netflix’s newest family comedy.

In You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, premiering Friday on Netflix, Stacey Friedman (Sunny Sandler — yes, daughter of Adam) is dead set on having the perfect bat mitzvah bash. The film is based on the young adult novel of the same name by Fiona Rosenbloom, in which Stacey’s desires are made very clear: all she wants is “the perfect BCBG dress to wear, her friends by her side, and her biggest crush ever, Andy Goldfarb [Dylan Hoffman], to dance with her (and maybe even make out with her on the dance floor).” So naturally, when the day doesn’t exactly go off without a hitch, Stacey is massively disappointed.

Adding insult to injury, Stacey always seems to be in competition with her so-called best friend, Lydia (Samantha Lorraine, The Walking Dead: World Beyond), who is also hosting her bat mitzvah around the same time. When popularity, romantic crushes and other middle school dramas creep into the picture for Stacey, her flubbed ceremonial rite of passage threatens to ruin her reputation.

While the last name “Sandler” is most closely associated with Adam, the entire Sandler family is onboard for this new production. The plot may revolve around the character played by his youngest daughter, Sunny, but Sandler’s wife, Jackie Sandler, stars as a member of the Rodriguez-Katz family, while their eldest daughter, Sadie, plays Stacey’s sister, Ronnie.

Directed by Sammi Cohen, the creative mind behind Hulu’s coming-of-age romcom Crush, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is just one of a series of recent films and television shows to highlight various moments in Jewish life around the world. Following the streamer’s expansion into Israel in early 2016, audiences everywhere were introduced to a plethora of content they may have been otherwise unfamiliar with.

As was the case with Netflix’s expansion into other countries, the streamer quickly began to offer Hebrew subtitles and dubbing for English and other language titles within Israel. Even more notably, Netflix also became a bridge between the Israeli entertainment industry and the West, encouraging onscreen representation and inclusivity for the Jewish diaspora.

Series like Unorthodox, The Club and Fauda quickly gained popularity alongside films such as Maktub, and Shiva Baby, and Netflix began promoting more widespread Jewish content in the United States as well. In this regard, the Sandler family seems the perfect choice to front an American bat mitzvah comedy.

Despite the fact that the Sandlers tend to stay out of the limelight in the media, the well-known patriarch has shared his delight about his daughters following in his comedic footsteps. And if the Sandler girls’ real-life bat mitzvahs are anything to base Netflix’s new movie on, this is
not one to miss.

Sunny, now 14, had her own bat mitzvah in May of last year. The festivities invitees included, among Sunny’s friends and family, Sandler’s Murder Mystery co-star and friend Jennifer Aniston, Twilight hunk Taylor Lautner and performances by pop sensations Halsey and Charlie Puth.

“It was the craziest bat mitzvah I’ve ever seen in my life,” Halsey told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show
shortly thereafter. “I mean, it was like Coachella.”

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah debuts Friday, August 25 on Netflix

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