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Last month I wrote for Kveller about how excited – and hesitant – I was that Adam Sandler was turning my favorite Jewish novel, You Are SO Not Invited Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, into a Netflix movie. Set in the mid-2000s, the story follows 13-year-old Stacy Friedman as she prepares for her bat mitzvah while coping with problems with boys and friends.
Since then, author Fiona Rosenbloom (or should I say Amanda Stern—Rosenbloom has apparently been a nom de plume the whole time!) has been digging for some key information to quell my anxiety.
In my post, I wondered how Adam Sandler would deal with problematic aspects of the book. Because I wondered how Sandler and the team would address the character Andy Goldfarb’s exclusive use of AAE (African American English) and how the character of Stacy Fat shames her brother.
Amanda not only read my essay, She responded to some of these points:
I love this one so much. Also, I really appreciate you reading it again, and I’ll take your analysis as advice as we edit it for a new edition. (In the film Arthur was swapped for a sister and Andy G was changed!)
– Amanda Stern and her How to Live newsletter. (@amandastern) June 12, 2022
For the past few weeks, I’ve been amazed at how thoughtful this approach is from both Amanda and apparently the Happy Madison Productions team. All the nervousness I had about the adaptation has now turned into excited anticipation. Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long for more news on You Are SO Not Invited as the cast list was announced yesterday!
And, folks, it’s beyond my wildest dreams.
Per Variety, Adam Sandler, teenage daughters Sadie and Sunny, and his wife Jackie will all star in the film!!! Although no specific role assignment was included in the announcement, Amanda’s tip that the film will replace Stacy’s brother with a sister leads me to believe that Sadie and youngest bat mitzvah girl Sunny will play the Friedman sisters. With that in mind, I’m willing to speculate that Jackie Sandler could play Stacy’s mother, Shelley, and the Sandman could play Stacy’s father, Morton.
Also on the cast list are Jewish actress Idina Menzel and Jewish comedian Sarah Sherman!!! This marks the first time Menzel and Sandler have worked together on a film since 2019’s Uncut Gems. Clearly, Idina was thrilled to be reunited with Sandler.
“He had me at hello. @adamsandler is a friend and the best person to work with. Always so excited,” Idina wrote in an Instagram caption.
Personally, I’m crossing my fingers for Sarah Sherman to play Delilah, Morton Friedman’s gentile new girlfriend, and for Idina to play Rabbi Sherwin. (Technically, Rabbi Sherwin is a man in the book, but a girl can dream, right?)
Unfortunately, having an incredibly Jewish cast list for an extremely Jewish film is very refreshing and I absolutely cannot wait for more updates on You’re So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah.