You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah director Sammi Cohen has defended Adam Sandler's decision to cast his own children in the movie.
The coming-of-age comedy stars Sandler's real-life daughter Sunny as protagonist Stacy Friedman, while the actor's real-life eldest daughter Sadie and wife Jackie also star in the Netflix film as Ronnie Friedman and Gabi Rodriguez Katz, respectively.
Weighing in on the "nepo babies" discourse surrounding Sandler's decision to cast his family in the film, Cohen pointed out that the actor "has a reputation for making movies with his friends".
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker continued: "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.
"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'."
Discussing what it was like to work with the whole Sandler family on set, Cohen admitted that it made them feel "nostalgic" for their own childhood family.
"One of my favourite scenes in the film is when Danny is in the car with Stacy, and he does this bit where he fake spills coffee on her to make her laugh," they recalled.
"Onscreen, it's magic – it's so sweet and cute and slice-of-life, and it speaks to this idea that when kids are sad, you feel hopeless as a parent. Stacy's so far away, and all he can do is make her laugh.
"As much as that scene is Danny and Stacy, it's also Adam and Sunny. It's hard to put into words how special that feels, those moments where you see Danny with Ronnie or Stacy.
"It felt like we were making a movie and memorialising life in such this beautiful way. It's just really special, and they're all so goddamn talented."
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is available to watch on Netflix.
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