Christmas films a Hallmark of success for Gary

By David Brinn

A NICE Jewish boy from Long Island, Gary Goldstein didn’t plan to become the go-to screenwriter for Christmas-themed romantic comedies. That’s just the way the dreidel fell.

The Los Angeles resident who grew up in a normative Conservative household, and whose first novel — The Last Birthday Party — features a Jewish leading character, has enjoyed a successful, varied career as a writer for TV, film and the stage.

However, he’s developed a niche, primarily for the Hallmark network, in creating light holiday fare like Forever Christmas, Mr 365, Angel of Christmas and the perennial favourite, Hitched for the Holidays, a fish-out-of-water romantic comedy that is perhaps the first American holiday film in which Chanukah played a major role.

“I wrote it as a big, New York romantic comedy with a really fun script about a Catholic guy and a Jewish woman who meet online because they don’t want to be alone for the holidays,” said Goldstein from his Laurel Canyon home.

“They decide to be each other’s dates when they have to visit their parents and they have to pretend to be each other’s religion.”

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