Charming Coming of Age
Release Date: August 01, 2008
Starring: Gregg Sulkin, Helena Bonham
Carter, Eddie Marsan, Ben
Newton, and Richard Katz
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: First Independent Pictures
Director: Paul Weiland
Executive Producer: Natascha Wharton and Richard
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and
Writer: Peter Straughan, Bridget
O’Connor and Paul Weiland
Address Comments To:Gary Rubin, President
First Independent Pictures
1542 15th Street, Suite 130
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 656-9480
With much humor, the movie follows Bernie trying to plan the perfect event, only to see his father’s own fears and lack of wisdom endanger it. In the end, his father Manny gets the courage to engage with his son and make the Bar Mitzvah a special occasion, even if it’s not the one that was planned.
In many ways, the story is a coming of age for both Bernie and his father Manny. Manny is bound up by many fears and obsessions and lives in the shadow of his more charming brother. Bernie has similar issues and is looking forward to the one day when everyone won’t pay attention to his own brother, but rather let him be in the spotlight.
Their wise rabbi helps Bernie to see in the end that a Bar Mitzvah is not about presents and being the center of attention, but rather the day to “become a man” and that means choosing to take responsibility. The theme, as the rabbi says, is about stop blaming your own dad for failures, but to love him the way that he is.
There are some mild objectionable elements. Bernie accidentally sees his doctor’s wife having an affair, though the sex is implied. Bernie tries everything to get England to lose so as not to conflict with his Bar Mitzvah, including saying spells and creating a soccer player voodoo doll. There’s discussion about circumcision, and there is one brief shot of rear male nudity, though that’s part of the soccer celebration.
This is a charming movie with much to recommend. The performances are very solid and the wit of the story is enjoyable. It would have been nice if faith had played more of a role in their lives instead of just the backdrop for a rite of passage. With discernment for these elements, SIXTY SIX is an enjoyable, charming tale.
There are some mild objectionable elements. Bernie accidentally sees his doctor’s wife having an affair. Bernie tries everything to get England to lose so as not to conflict with his Bar Mitzvah, including saying spells. There’s discussion about circumcision and brief rear male nudity. It would have been nice if faith had played more of a role instead of just being the backdrop for a rite of passage. Applying carefully discernment regarding these elements, SIXTY SIX is an enjoyable, charming tale.