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TLDR: You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023)
Welcome to being an adult and welcome to being Jewish. We don't get breaks.
Plot: Stacy and Lydia are BFFs who’ve always dreamed about having epic bat mitzvahs. But things start to go comically awry when a popular boy and middle school drama threaten their friendship and their rite of passage.
Direction: This is only Sammi Cohen's second feature film and it's impressive. She doesn't do anything revolutionary, but she manages to consistently tap into human moments that make this movie a little more than your average coming-of-age film.
Screenplay: It's going to age like milk, heavy with references to the here and now - but it is chock full of universal truths about being a tween and growing up. Matching with your friends, getting (way too) dolled up and having a photoshoot, crushes that feel like they're going to make your heart beat so fast that you literally keel over and die - it's supremely cringe, but cringe in a way that's deeply rooted in nostalgia.
Performances: It's really the Sunny and Sarah show. Adam Sandler's youngest daughter shines in this role with a lot of quick, natural instincts and a healthy dose of self-awareness. She stands out among the other actors in her age group (who are all learning, growing, and perfectly serviceable), and is the perfect choice for this role despite some obvious nepotism happening. Once she gets a handle on her lip-pouting habit and hones her skills a little more, I'd say she could be one to watch. Sarah Sherman has officially stolen my heart with this movie. I first fell head over heels for her while seeing her Jewish Elvis sketch on SNL, but this really shows that she is just That Girl.
Best moment: Every moment Sarah Sherman was on screen.
Fun fact: This film is a spiritual successor to Shiva Baby (this is a lie but I feel like it could be true...)
Imaginary accolade: Second-Best Movie This Year That Has a Tween Girl Narrate Her Coming-Of-Age Through the “Are You There, God? It’s Me...” Motif.
Everything is too long. Is it too long?: It could have been a slick 90 pretty easily, but it didn't feel grating.
Rating: Slightly better than your average teen movie and not as Sandlery as you'd expect!
Credit: Plot synopsis from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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