Call it My Big Fat Bar Mitzvah, said Leah Rozen in People. As in the wildly successful My Big Fat Greek Wedding, we've got 'œwacky ethnics all yelling at each other during a family fete.' But this time they're Jews living in Los Angeles. And this time they're not funny, said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. First-time feature director Scott Marshall 'œsquanders a decent comic premise,' in which talent agent Adam tries to plan a bar mitzvah that will top the Titanic-themed one thrown by his neighbors. His timid son Benjamin has different goals: a little party and a reunion between his father and estranged grandfather. Promising material, but the film 'œdoesn't have the nerve to offend anyone,' and lacks enough flavor to be comfort food. At least its 'œheart is in the right place,' said Carrie Rickey in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Benjamin eventually takes ownership of the event and lets his dad know that a bar mitzvah is not meant to be a marketing tool. Daryl Sabara is a thoughtful Benjamin, giving the film an appropriate reverence. Jeremy Piven also gives a fine performance as his dad. If only Mark Zakarin's script allowed them to be funny.
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