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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Friendships, even among kids, can run deep and rebound from disagreements. Religion can play an important role in family and community life. "Mitzvah" is about helping others, being selfless, taking the bad and making it good. If you do good, good things will happen to you.
Positive Role Models
Two tweens fight and then make up, but before they do, one takes her anger out on the other in unkind ways. Tweens are portrayed as often concerned with appearances and popularity. Their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are important rituals to them and their families. Parents and a local rabbi support the children of the community.
The main characters are all Jewish. An introduction describes coming-of-age ceremonies around the world. The film illustrates the integral role of religion, and especially the coming-of-age rite of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah for the children of Jewish families. One main character's father is Latino (played by Puerto Rican-born Luis Guzman). A secondary character is from Ecuador, and a classmate confuses him with an Italian exchange student. Another secondary character is of Indian descent. There are some kids of color in the peer group at the local school.
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Violence & Scariness
A man gets into a couple of injury-free car crashes. A girl jumps off a cliff into the water; she isn't hurt but she could have been. Siblings threaten to stab and kill each other. Tweens mock and bully each other. Two older teens watch scary movies on a phone.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Tweens imagine kissing and actually do kiss. There's discussion of crushes, being "straight," a "make-out closet," "hooking up," cheating, touching a girl's "under-boob," dating apps, "gay TikTok," hitting on a mom, some jokes about periods and their "flow" (a crude scene involves a girl's bloodied maxi pad floating in water in front of classmates), and tween girls primping and posing for guys and/or social media posts.
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"S--t," "damn," "goddamn," "hell," "ass," "a--hole," "freaking"/"fricking," "heck," "idiot," "suck," "dumb," "stupid," "weird," "dork," "punk," "jerk," "bratty," "nerd," "pee."
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Products & Purchases
The families are wealthy and their kids expect expensive and elaborate parties thrown on their behalf. They throw pool parties and are concerned with designer clothes, how they look on social media, etc. Clothes and shoe brands are seen. Some artists, films, and games are mentioned by name.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A mom offers alcohol to teens at a party and gets drunk herself (to be "cool," one teen says). The teen tells her dad she tried it and didn't like it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, based on the YA book by Fiona Rosenbloom and starring Adam Sandler, his wife, and his two daughters, is a Jewish tween tale with language and some mature themes. Among those themes are crushes and first kisses, as well as middle school friend groups and betrayal, and the importance of the coming-of-age ritual of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah in the Jewish community. There's drinking at a party, kissing, and sex talk, which includes discussion of crushes, being "straight," a "make-out closet," "hooking up," cheating, touching a girl's "under-boob," dating apps, "gay TikTok," hitting on a mom, some jokes about periods and their "flow" (a crude scene involves a girl's bloodied maxi pad floating in water in front of classmates), and tween girls primping and posing for guys and/or social media posts. Language includes "s--t," "damn," "goddamn," "hell," "ass," "a--hole," and a whole bunch of milder insults. The families are wealthy and their kids expect expensive and elaborate parties thrown on their behalf. The moral of the story is the value of friendship and community and learning from selfless acts. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This film has Judy Blume written all over it, but its main character lacks the genuine naivete that makes Blume's tween characters so lovable. Playing Stacy in You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, Sunny Sandler (Adam's daughter) wades into mean girl territory with her friends, poses and pouts for her male crush, and vamps in a sexy outfit for TikTok. It feels like a decidedly LA version of tweenhood. If you are only picking one tween girl flick this year, go with Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
That's not to say that Sunny doesn't play the character well, and it appears that all the Sandlers had a lot of fun making this movie. There are likely inside jokes galore here. Papa Sandler is in relax mode and lets his daughter take top billing, with family interactions feeling, well, pretty real. Same with the cameos and portrayals in the multigenerational Jewish community, though Sherman's performance as Rabbi Rebecca is more grating than great.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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