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The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Netflix original “You’re So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” is worth the watch

The cover poster for the movie shows a collage, looking like it could be from a teenage girl’s room, highlighting the movie’s key moments. Photo from Netflix.

As Netflix’s most recently released movie dominated the media, viewers rushed to stream Adam Sandler’s newest project – “You’re So Not Invited to my Bat Mitzvah.” This film tells the story of a teenage girl and her friendships leading up to the most anticipated night of her life – her Bat Mitzvah. 

With Sandler’s strong reputation in the world of comedy, especially as a Jewish comedian, expectations were high to produce something of his caliber. While the movie hit from a comedic standpoint, the more meaningful Jewish experiences could have been re-framed. 

The movie, starring Sandler’s daughter Sunny and featuring the entire Sandler family, was a take on B’nai Mitzvah, a meaningful Jewish ritual. It was mainly centered around a conflict between friends over a boy and how it ruined their special days.

While some did not agree on Adam Sandler’s choice to cast his children, Sunny gave a raw and convincing performance. She had strong comedic timing, enviable acting range, and properly explored the main theme of the movie – maintaining strong friendships.  

As any Adam Sandler movie would be, the film was littered with comedic moments and strong writing. The story was appropriate for teenagers and was well paced. However, it was also a misrepresentation of the Jewish community as a whole. 

As a religion and culture, Jews do not have frequent and focused on-screen representation, so the Jewish representation in this movie holds extra weight. While I’m not offended by any of the Jewish stereotypes portrayed in the movie, I feel as though the script could have been used as a more effective teaching device for non-Jewish viewers about Jewish culture. 

Whenever the character Rabbi Rebecca entered the room, she would greet her students by saying baruch Hashem, or thank God. But in reality, very few Jews would ever greet someone by saying this. Although I understand that education was not the purpose of the movie, the comedic quality of this line would be lost on Sandler’s non-Jewish viewership because they would assume that this is a common Jewish greeting. 

While they did not make an effort to portray Judaism realistically, the company was extremely vigilant about casting many Jewish actors. Sandler’s team even held an open casting call through BBYO, and succeeded in casting the character Aaron, who was the love interest’s best friend, through the Jewish youth group. 

Additionally, the movie tackled important themes for young teens to understand like friendship and loyalty. The story explores how Stacy and her best friend Lydia navigate having a crush on the same boy.

The writers wrote a strong female friendship that faced conflict over a shared crush, promoting loyalty and friendship over all other commitments. As a viewer, it was heartwarming to see a realistic “tween” conflict on screen, while also seeing the strong resolution come to fruition.

While I understand the complexity of creating a movie to comedically represent a culture, the effort was appreciated. Although the misrepresentation left a damper on the overall message, “You’re So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” was worth a watch. 

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About the Contributor
Aliza Bellas
Aliza Bellas, Managing Editor, Copy
Aliza is ecstatic to continue her work on The Lion’s Tale as Managing Editor, Copy in the upcoming year. In her past year as Opinion Editor, Aliza found passion in writing timely articles, editing interesting stories, and designing spreads. Outside of the Pub Hub, Aliza dedicates her time to her role as Junior Class President, the Regional Vice President of Membership in BBYO’s D.C. Council, and her role as Editor-in-Chief of The Melting Pot. Aliza is eager to get started on developing the paper’s writing and ensuring that every web and print article is as polished as can be.  

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