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Keeping Up with the Steins

Neil Diamond steals the show
By MARK BAZER  |  May 24, 2006
1.5 1.5 Stars

KEEPING UP WITH THE STEINS: The kid is all right.

Nowhere is the over-the-top bar mitzvah scene more ripe for satire, according to Scott Marshall’s family film, than in Los Angeles, where planning the reception can require almost as much energy, money, and BS as producing a feature film. Jeremy Piven’s Adam Fiedler is a tightly wound Hollywood agent (no, this hasn’t slipped into a review of Entourage) whose plans to throw his son Benjamin (Daryl Sabara) a more stupendous bar mitzvah party than his former boss/current rival’s son had go horribly awry. The film is only occasionally funny and often cliché’d, and its Lesson is obvious from the minute you buy your ticket. But it’s partly redeemed by Benjamin, a sweet, awkward, pudgy 13-year-old whose predicament keeps you engaged until (spoiler alert!) Neil Diamond steals the show at the end with his rendition of “Hava Nagila.” Garry Marshall, Jami Gertz, Daryl Hannah, and Cheryl Hines help out.
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