You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah director: 'We want Jewish kids to feel seen and celebrated'

Filmmaker Sammi Cohen said she also wanted to ensure the film appealed to Gen Z


Adam Sandler’s Bar mitzvah movie will help Jewish kids ‘feel seen and celebrated’, according to the film's director.

The Jewish Hollywood actor will star with his daughters in You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, which is released this Friday on Netflix. 

Sandlers’ younger daughter Sunny, 13, will star as the lead character Stacy Friedman who has been planning her bat mitzvah with her best friend Lydia Rodrigues Katz.

Sandler’s older daughter Sadie will star as Stacy’s older sister Ronnie with Sandler himself playing Stacy’s dad and Idina Menzel will play Stacy’s mum. 

Explaining the importance of the film, director Sammi Cohen said: “It was important for me to make the movie feel a little more inclusive and queer, body positive, progressive, Gen Z when it came to things like social issues and family dynamics, gender and all that.”

Cohen went on to stress that she wanted to make the movie feel fresh for a younger audience since Rosenbloom's novel was first released nearly 20 years ago.

She said: “We just wanted this to feel like a modern telling of a story and make this feel of today in the bat mitzvah world and in how these kids talk in general.

“The heart of the movie is this platonic love story between these two best friends, and there's something so universal in that experience.

"But what's really unique and exciting for me is you get to kind of fold in these Jewish lessons and Jewish experiences.

"This idea of doing a mitzvah, doing good for others, forgiveness, making mistakes, not doing things perfectly, but moving through that together.

“There's a very Jewish side to all of this that makes Jewish kids feel seen and celebrated.”

Cohen also shared her pleasure in working with Sandler and his two daughters on the film.

In an interview with CBC, Cohen added: “There's a natural chemistry you get with the Sandlers that I think is just this beautiful layer on top of the film.

“One of their favourite scenes in the movie is a small one between Sandler and Sunny, where he pretends to spill coffee on her while they're in the car, making her laugh.

"We found that just during rehearsal and it's just a real [moment], you know, a little peek into Adam as a dad making its way into the character of Danny as a dad.

"I think we both also knew the kids knew what was cool more than either of us."

Cohen's previous directing credits include the 2022 film Crush and the comedy series Hollywood Darlings.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive