Sunny Sandler makes an appealing debut as Stacy, with Sadie Sandler as her usually supportive older sister, Ronnie. Stacy explains that her bat mitzvah is a rite of passage, recognizing a child entering adulthood, as in many other cultures. But how well she understands that is another question. As she prays, a la “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” her priorities are more about the festivities than anything she is learning about Judaism or being an adult. She explains to her parents that the rest of it “is important to you and other old people and God and stuff, but to me, it’s the party.”
Stacy’s lifetime best friend is Lydia (a winning Samantha Lorraine), and the movie captures well the endlessly supportive and intense friendships of that age, where every detail of their lives is shared, discussed, and endorsed. In a world where the party theme for the marathon of seventh-grade bar and bat mitzvah celebrations is of more vital concern than the reading from the Torah (the first five books of The Bible) or the mitzvah (charity) project, the girls shrewdly assess a predecessor’s Carnivale decorations as though examining a diamond through a jeweler’s loupe. It’s nice, but they assure each other, “Your Candyland theme is going to be the best of the year!” “Until your New York Theme!” They dream of a future where they and their cute boyfriends will have adjoining homes in Tribeca … in Taylor Swift’s building. They are so closely bonded that Lydia writes the most personal part of Stacy’s bat mitzvah ceremony, the speech (Stacy’s parents go along with this after Lydia points out that Stacy is not a good writer). Stacy does something just as significant for Lydia: she creates the adorable biography video to elicit “awwwws” from the crowd before her grand entrance to the party.
And then things start to go wrong as Stacy experiences a moment of total humiliation in trying to impress her crush, Andy (Dylan Hoffman). Stacy sees Andy kissing Lydia, which leads to the explosive moment when she says the words of the title.
There’s a sweetness to this story that reflects Adam Sandler’s real-life love for his family. While the father he plays wears sweats and makes dad jokes (yeah, not much of a stretch), he is a devoted dad who adores his girls and is willing to impose some tough, or more like tough-ish love when Stacy’s bad choices catch up with her.