- December 14, 2017
- 7:00 pm
We’re screening Keeping up with the Steins on December 14 at 7:00 p.m.
The family is headed by Adam Fiedler (Jeremy Piven), a Hollywood agent who is envious when his archrival Arnie Stein (Larry Miller) throws a bar mitzvah for his own 13-year-old that includes an ocean cruise, a giant model of the Titanic and a trained killer whale wearing a yarmulke. “I’m king of the world,” the younger Stein cries, his arms outstretched as the Titanic sails into a ballroom and Adam Fiedler grows morose. Adam consults with his wife Joanne (Jami Gertz) about a bar mitzvah to shame the Steins. It may involve booking Dodger Stadium and having his son Benjamin (Daryl Sabara of “Spy Kids”) arrive from the sky. Money is no object. Hiring a singer? How about Neil Diamond? The problem with this grandiose scheme is that young Benjamin has no heart for it. He narrates the movie, and we learn from that he feels embarrassed by all the attention, overwhelmed by the scope of the ceremony and terrified by his inability to master Hebrew in time to read it aloud during the religious prelude to the conspicuous consumption. The movie never really forgets that the underlying purpose of the ceremony, which is not to out-spend the neighbors but to wish a young man godspeed in his life, Keeping Up With the Steins never loses its footing.