Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Like the young Indian braves of long ago, Benjamin Fiedler (Sabara) is about to undergo an initiation rite that will take him from boy to man. But rather than face the perils of the hunt, he must endure something far worse -- a Bar Mitzvah in Brentwood, California. (Miramax Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. 75
    What begins as a scathing but loving satire of materialism loses its way once it turns into a warmhearted after-school special about a nice young Jewish boy discovering the true meaning of the bar mitzvah.
  2. The tribute to an aging parent is moving and gives this routine comedy an extra something.
  3. 75
    A fresh and lovable comedy about a dysfunctional Jewish family planning their son's bar mitzvah.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Zakarin's semiautobiographical screenplay hits all the sitcom beats.
  5. Keeping Up With the Steins would have been a much better film if it had waited twice as long before retracting its fangs.
  6. 50
    Director Scott Marshall and screenwriter Mark Zakarin pander to Jewish viewers the way Andy Garcia's "The Lost City" panders to Cuban Americans.
  7. There is potential for laughs in a satire of rich people spending big money on religious galas, but that is not even the real subject of the picture.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 4 out of 9
  1. PeterH.
    Jun 16, 2006
    Having seen the trailer several times, I thought I had this movie figured out. I was wrong. But not disappointed. It was funny and fun.
  2. IraA.
    May 30, 2006
    Nice to have a warm family comedy. The plot is thin but the individual performances by Gary Marshall, Daryl Hannah, Larry Miller, Doris Roberts and Jeremy Piven alone make it worth seeing. It's almost satire, almost sitcom and pretty much fun. Expand
  3. NancyS.
    Jul 3, 2006
    I think my opinion runs to the first review listed here from "The Onion". It does lose its way from a satire to a family story but, since I really didn't have any expectations, I was okay with that. A satire about people who lack any sense of self-awareness in their amoral race to be on top? Watch "Thank You for Smoking" (which was well done but somewhat unsettling for me). The loss of direction here left Piven (and I am a fan of his intensity) with not a lot to work with but, overall, the actors were enjoyable to watch and the life lessons just this side of Hallmark Heartwarming. I think if they had stuck to the vision from the satiric first part of the film all the way through. it would have been more of what the viewers posting here would have enjoyed. On the other hand, if they had taken the time to develop some of the themes and issues that were brought up in the family story, they could have had something quite thoughtful and satisfying. The truncated scenes and TV-wrap-up did not provide any real depth. But, this is still something you could watch with your kids and talk about later... Expand
  4. Mase
    May 20, 2006
    Light hearted and treats it's family and characters with care. I nice glimpse into the white collar jewish brentwood lifestyle if anything. This is a obvious love letter to director Scott Marshall's father Gary Marshall who gets the bulk of the scenes. If you like Gary this will go down very easy if not you might want to look for another flick. Expand
  5. MarcK.
    May 22, 2006
    I am Jewish, and the friend I saw it with was Non-Jewish, and we both thought it was pretty bad. It wasn't just wasn't funny. Garry Marshall must have called in a lot of favors to get actors like Jeremy Piven, Jami Gertz, Daryl Hannah and Richard Benjamin to appear in this movie for his son. And judging by the strong critical acclaim (which is one of the reasons why I went to see this movie in the first place), he obviously must have called in a few favors on the film critics he knows. Expand
  6. BenF.
    Jun 5, 2006
    Appalling. Heeb magazine ran a profile of this film a few months ago and we presume it would have the same edgey humor of "Jesus is Magic" or "The Hebrew Hammer." Wrong! Smarmy family fare, no edge whatsoever; even the old couples in the audience could barely muster a chucle. We walked out, and couldn't even get a refund. Expand
  7. AmyR.
    May 31, 2006
    I was Jewish before I saw this movie, but now I am reconsidering everything. I wasn't offended as a Jew, I was offended as someone who likes to not be subjected to awful writing for what felt like hours and hours. Thanks for nothing. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews