Adam Sandler’s ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ director defends him for casting daughters amid nepo-baby debate

Adam Sandler caught heat for casting his real-life daughters in his latest Netflix film,

“You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah,” and the film’s director has come to his defense amid the “nepo-babies” debate.

Sandler’s just doing what he’s always done: Making a movie with his friends, director Sammi Cohen told the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday. But this time around, those friends are his kids.

The comedian, 56, stars in the comedy as Danny Friedman alongside daughters Sunny, 14, and Sadie, 17, who happen to play his daughters Stacy and Ronnie in the movie, respectively.

Sandler’s “Uncut Gems” co-star Idina Menzel plays his wife in the film, but his real wife, Jackie, also has a role:

She’s plays Gabi, the mother of Stacy’s best friend, Lydia (Samantha Lorraine), whose falling out is the impetus behind the title.

“You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah,” a progressive and modern adaptation of Fiona Rosenbloom‘s 2005 novel about the Jewish coming-of-age ritual and its many social trappings,

 was released in theaters last week and is streaming on Netflix now. It was also produced by Sandler and has become the crowd-pleasing comic’s best-reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes yet.

Although the “Saturday Night Live” alum is on the sidelines for much of the action on-screen,

which primarily revolves around the film’s younger stars, he’s been at the center of the Hollywood nepotism discourse that came to a fever pitch last winter.

“What I say is, he’s still making movies with his friends, but they’re his kids,” Cohen told THR. “He is the kind of dad who’s also your best friend.

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.’”

Warner Bros. TV-owned Alloy Entertainment and Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions had the script before Cohen signed on to helm.

 And, at that point, Sandler’s girls were already attached to star in the movie.

She said they collectively “built out the rest of the cast and the rest of the world around them — Adam and Jackie and everyone else.”


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