Director Defends Adam Sandler’s Casting Of His Own Daughters In New Movie

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If you’d ask this question directly to Adam Sandler, he’d probably tell you to fetch him a warm glass of shut the hell up.

On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter asked Sammi Cohen, the director of Sandler’s latest Netflix movie, “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah,” about nepotism babies, considering the cultural conversation surrounding it and because Sandler cast both his daughters in the film.

The movie, which was released last week on the streamer, is an adaptation of Fiona Rosenbloom’s 2005 novel of the same name. It stars Sunny Sandler, the comedian’s younger daughter, as Stacy Friedman. Sandler’s eldest daughter, Sadie Sandler, plays a supporting role as Stacy’s sister, Ronnie. Sandler and his wife, Jackie Sandler, have smaller roles in the film.

Cohen made a good point while responding to the “nepo baby” question from the entertainment magazine.

“Sandler has a reputation for making movies with his friends, and that’s something we all want to do,” Cohen began, referencing Sandler movies that have regularly cast the “Saturday Night Live” alum’s buddies, including Rob Schneider and David Spade, and actor friends Steve Buscemi, Chris Rock, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Aniston.

Sunny Sandler (left) and older sister Sadie Sandler in “You’re So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah.”

“What I say is, he’s still making movies with his friends, but they’re his kids. He is the kind of dad who’s also your best friend,” Cohen added. “When it comes to the sort of chatter we’re hearing online, I don’t really think twice about it because I’m going like, ‘Yeah, he’s doing the same thing he’s always done.’”

Although there is some nepo discourse regarding “Bat Mitzvah” on X, formerly Twitter, it’s mostly positive.

Sunny Sandler carries the film as an awkward tween who ruins her best friend Lydia’s (Samantha Lorraine) life after Stacy’s crush, Andy (Dylan Hoffman), dares to date Lydia instead of her. The film is also proving to be Sandler’s best-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes, with “Bat Mitzvah” scoring 97% with critics. This is higher than some of Sandler’s more critically acclaimed films, such as 2022’s “Hustle,” which earned 93%; 2017’s “The Meyerowitz Stories,” which scored 92%; and 2019’s “Uncut Gems,” which got 91%. (Personally, we feel the 40% rating for Sandler’s breakout comedic masterpiece “Billy Madison” is absurd.)

Sunny and Sadie Sandler have also proved that their comedic chops extend outside of acting — they’re also pretty hilarious writers as well.

In 2022, Sandler let Sunny and Sadie write his acceptance speech at the 2022 Gotham Awards in honor of his decorated career as an actor and comic — and they roasted him pretty hard as Sandler read their words aloud to the ceremony’s attendees.

“Daddy’s silly film career began in 1988, formed by two guiding principles: People in prison need movies, too, and TBS needs content,” Sandler read.

“While daddy is with you tonight, we’re doing everything we’re not allowed to do when daddy is home, like eat his Yodels or try on his Spanx or, dare we say, laugh out loud at Ben Stiller movies,” he continued. “The last time daddy caught us chuckling away at the ‘Meet the Parents’ trilogy, he immediately stormed into the room he calls ‘The Screaming Room,’ which we just call ‘the shower,’ and bellowed out the phrase, ‘Only the Sandman makes people laugh. Fuck every other comedian.’”

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