"Charming Coming of Age"
What You Need To Know:
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.
(BB, O, L, S, N, D, MM) Strong moral worldview with much reference to the Jewish faith, marred by light occult attempts to jinx a soccer team; one obscenity and one profanity, plus background character gives “the finger”; no violence; one scene of teenager accidentally seeing a scene of implied sex and graphic discussion of circumcision; male rear nudity played for humor, female cleavage; some alcoholic drinking; much smoking; and adultery, lying
Set in England, SIXTY SIX is the story of Bernie, a young man looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah as the chance for his friends and family to finally pay attention to him. Unfortunately what was going to be a large, epic party is endangered. The business owned by Bernie’s father Manny hits troubled times. Worse, the unchangeable date of his Bar Mitzvah is the same date as the World Cup soccer final game, the year when England goes to the playoffs.
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.