Keeping Up with the Steins

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Keeping Up with the Steins
Keeping up with the steins.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byScott Marshall
Produced byA.D. Oppenheim
Written byMark Zakarin
StarringDaryl Sabara
Jami Gertz
Jeremy Piven
Larry Miller
Garry Marshall
Daryl Hannah
Sandra Taylor
Carter Jenkins
Miranda Cosgrove
Music byJohn Debney
CinematographyCharles Minsky
Edited byTara Timpone
Distributed byMiramax Films
Release date
May 12, 2006 (2006-05-12)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5 million
Box office$4,409,373

Keeping Up with the Steins is a 2006 comedy film directed by Scott Marshall, and starring Garry Marshall, Jeremy Piven, Jami Gertz and Daryl Hannah.[1] The film is also a commentary on how too many Jewish families see a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah not as a coming of age for their son or daughter, but rather as an excuse to throw outrageously lavish parties which end in drama.


Benjamin Fiedler is the 13-year-old son of Jewish couple Adam and Joanne Fiedler. After attending the elaborate bar mitzvah party for the son of Arnie Stein - which was done on a cruise ship, with a Titanic theme - Benjamin's parents decide to go all out for his bar mitzvah. The plan is to rent Dodger Stadium for the bar mitzvah party, complete with movie stars and everything. Adam even books Neil Diamond to sing the National Anthem. However, Benjamin does not want to go through with it, as he does not even understand the words of the haftorah he has to read as part of his bar mitzvah rite. To try to stall the planning, he secretly invites his grandfather Irwin, who is now living on an Indian reservation with a New Age woman named Sacred Feather. When Benjamin's grandfather arrives, it puts a kink in the planning - as Irwin had a falling out with his son Adam, both for having left Adam when he was a teenager, and for Adam's own humiliating bar mitzvah. Irwin must then pull off somehow reconciling with his son while helping his grandson deal with the question of what it means to be a "man."

Now appreciating his bar mitzvah not as an excuse to throw a party but rather as a rite of passage in his Jewish life, Benjamin gets up the courage to tell his parents to call off the over-the-top bash they had planned. After he does very well at the service the party is just a casual backyard affair with lunch, a klezmer band (with a guest-star singer and guitarist, as Adam "couldn't cancel Neil Diamond") and lots of family and friends.


Production notes[edit]

  • The working title for this movie was "Lucky 13".
  • While shooting this movie, Daryl Sabara was also studying for his own Bar Mitzvah. The Haftorah portion that his character chants in the movie was Sabara's actual Bar Mitzvah portion.
  • DJ Quik makes a cameo as himself as the rapper at the Stein's Bar Mitzvah, which is one of many things that makes Jeremy Piven's character jealous. In episode 10 in the second season of "Entourage" (titled "The Bat Mitzvah"), DJ Quik makes a cameo as himself as the deejay at Piven's daughter's Bat Mitzvah.
  • Congregation Ari-El, the synagogue where Daryl Sabara's character is to have his Bar Mitzvah, which is shown on an exterior shot, is a real synagogue in North Hollywood, called Adat Ari El, and was founded by members of the movie industry. It has an Ark (where the scrolls of the Torah are kept) built by Jewish carpenters working for Warner Brothers that was originally used on a movie set, and installed in the synagogue after the movie was completed.


The film scored 36% at Rotten Tomatoes, making it "rotten." Criticism generally focused on the film's tendency towards melodrama, and that the material was better suited for a sitcom on television than for a motion picture.


  1. ^ "Keeping Up with the Steins". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 19, 2016.

External links[edit]