Column, Movie Diary

Movie Diary: Mazel Tov!


This past Sunday, my wife and I decided to do some errands together. So, after breakfast we each knocked out a few household chores before finally jumping in my truck to head out. 

We were about a mile down the road when I realized that I had forgotten my cellphone. My first instinct was to head back but given that my wife had been impatient about getting the day started, I blew it off and traveled onward.

I remember thinking that I should be able to handle an afternoon without technology. In fact, I sort of scolded myself for even sensing discomfort from not having my phone within reach. 

Over the next two hours, we went in and out of several stores, most of which were of interest to my wife. On occasions like those, I frequently find a place to sit down to people-watch, which is exactly what I did. However, after a couple reaches into my pocket for my missing phone, I began to get agitated.

I realized that not having my phone readily available was causing me a bit of stress. I wanted to call my son, but I couldn’t. I wanted to see what the weather would be like later that day, but I couldn’t. I wanted to listen to a podcast from a creator that I follow, but I couldn’t. And I wanted to check my work email for a follow-up correspondence that was due, but I couldn’t. 

I took a deep breath and told myself to calm down. All those questions would get answered later. And anyone that I needed to get ahold of or who needed to get ahold of me wouldn’t be troubled by a couple hours delay.

I like my cell phone; I use it extensively for my work and personal life. It allows me to function in a modern marketing environment while at the office, while also feeding my need to answer questions and amuse my interests during other times. 

I don’t have any games on my phone, but I have plenty of apps that keep me engaged. I like my Doppler radar app to follow storms and the PGA golf app to keep pace with tournaments. I rely on my news aggregate apps to keep me informed and my music apps to keep happy. My phone functions as my wallet, my communication device, my camera, my voice-recorder, my note-taker, my calendar, and my timepiece, among other things.

Overall, my phone is an immense accompaniment to my life in, what I consider, a healthy and functional way (at least that’s how I’m justifying it at the moment). However, it was not lost on me how much discomfort I was feeling being without it.

I reprimanded myself again for the feelings of loss and then proceeded to walk back to my truck to take a nap while my wife got a manicure. I jumped in the truck, cracked the windows, tilted the seat back, pulled my baseball hat over my eyes, and got comfortable.

In this scenario, I normally could fall asleep within five minutes, but it wasn’t happening. My agitation was palpable. Every time I tried to turn my brain off, a question would arise that I knew my phone could help me answer. This went on for 20 minutes before I finally gave up.  

I then walked into the nail salon and spotted my wife getting attended to in the back. She motioned to me, so I walked over and sat down in the empty chair next to her. 

I realized that after countless years of my wife getting her nails done, this was the first time I had ever really been inside a salon. I was full of questions about the apparatuses and processes and began peppering my wife for answers.

It didn’t take long for her to get irritated with me, and since she still had 20 minutes left in her treatment, she subtlety told me to go find something else to do. I begrudgingly left and wandered around outside. 

Once we got home, I located my phone, opened it up, and scanned it diligently for information. Surprisingly, no one called or texted, no emails had come in, no storms had formed, and no news events had shaken the world. In short, that phone would have made little difference in my life whether I had it or not. Next weekend, I think I’ll try leaving it at home again. 

In this week’s feature, “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah,” we get an inside look at a slice of society who arguably has the hardest time separating from their phones: middle-school girls.

Starring a slew of Sandler family thespians, including Adam Sandler, his wife, and two daughters, “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah,” delves into the world of the coming-of-age celebrations that defines many Jewish children’s lives.

You’d think with so much nepotism in the pot that this film would tank, but honestly, it’s an adorable tryst with enough youthful and adult comedy to keep the story interesting and fresh. It’s not for everyone (Sandler films never are), but this one has enough appeal and humor to make it worth checking out.

A festive “B” for “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah,” now available for streaming on Netflix.

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at

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