Like the young Indian braves of long ago, Benjamin Fiedler (Daryl Sabara
) is about to undergo an initiation rite that will take him from boy to man. But rather than face the perils of the hunt, he must endure something far worse -- a Bar Mitzvah in Brentwood, California.
It's not enough that Benjamin must stand in front of a Temple full of strangers chanting Hebrew, a language he doesn't understand. He must also cope with the efforts of his parents, Adam (Jeremy Piven) and Joanne (Jami Gertz), to splurge on a party-to-end-all-parties, a mega-bash where the Bar is more important than the Mitzvah and a Jewish Star means Neil Diamond.
Above all, the Fiedlers must surpass the "Titanic"-themed Bar Mitzvah given by Adam's rival agent, Arnie Stein (Larry Miller). With his circus-sized celebration, Arnie has thrown down the gauntlet. For the highly competitive Adam, the war is on!
But when Adam's father Irwin (Garry Marshall), now a gray-haired hippie, and his spacey younger girlfriend (Daryl Hannah) arrive in their broken down camper, the Fiedler's plans are thrown into disarray.
Every family has their own dysfunction and neuroses and the Fiedlers are certainly no exception. Despite this, they ultimately realize that family is the most precious bond that can't be broken (but it can be bent out of shape at times).