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Big Daze

November 22, 2006 By:
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"Big Day"

Is this the little girl I spoiled rotten ... 
Is this the little boy who no fashtay ... 
What imlech ordered arugula for the reception ... 
Oy ... oy vay ...


Place the chopped liver by the Rigbergs ... 
Don't put the Goldsteins near the Steins ... 
Is there a way of his breaking the glass ...
 
Without breaking our ... ?

Sunrise, sunset -- that's the timeline of ABC's new timely take on marriage: If "Big Day" is a big deal in a world where "24" can devote an entire season to one day of terror, why not have bridesmaids kvetching over the terrible color of their dresses for 22 episodes, too?

Postponed from September -- season-premiere jitters? -- now beginning Tuesday night, Nov. 28, "Big Day" is a big daze for Alice and Danny (Marla Sokoloff and Josh Cooke), the centerpiece Jewish cuties atop a crumbling wedding cake on their big day that starts with Dad (Kurt Fuller) wishing his daughter nachas with the nutcase she's about to marry who, he thinks, is more suited to sitting on the aisle than marching down it.

Then there's Mom (Wendie Malick), whose salad days are well behind her until she finds the power to dictate what kind of greens should be served at the wedding: Are you or are you not against arugula?

Is this a job for Betty the Caterer?

It's certainly a job for Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, married to each other and the series concept, which they're espousing as spouses and as the show's executive producers.

The king and queen of telemarital blitz? To a degree; they also created "The King of Queens," CBS's longstanding comedic hit about a UPS-type driver who has trouble delivering the goods to his always frustrated wife.

No frustration here; Goldsmith and Yuspa have the chutzpah to know that "Big Day" is just a few days away from another possible big payoff.

Looking at cast and credits for the season, it pays to be from Melrose Park these days, it seems; indeed, Goldsmith is a native son who sought the Hollywood sun to park his writing talent. (Something in the Manischewitz? He's just one of a number from the area making good on a good TV career.)

Since joining up with Yuspa, whom he met at the University of Southern California School of Film 12 years ago -- "We wrote 'Rock the Bus,' about Jewish kids from the suburbs who go West," recalls Goldsmith. "We called it 'Jews on Wheels'" -- the "Big Day" big wheels also scripted "What Women Want" -- starring Mel Gibson before he went public with his Jew-jitsu martial arts -- and "13 Going on 30,"starring Jennifer Garner, as well as CBS's " 'Till Then."

And now, "My Big Fat ... Geek ... Wedding"?

"Nothing like that," reports Yuspa of their own. "We have a blissful [four-year-old] marriage."

Role models for the show's roles: "My parents have been married for over 40 years."

Her husband knows from gold standards, too -- his parents: Dad Dr. Don Goldsmith, a local pediatric rheumatologist, and mom Zina David, "who sang duets at the seder table," provided "inspiration in all kinds of ways" to help him find his way.

But the couple of "Big Day" need some big help with so many others interfering in what may be a chupah catastrophe: Sex and the sister? The bitchy bridesmaid -- and older sister -- who takes the best man for a march down the aisle, then right into the bedroom; and the groomsman who's groomed himself his whole life, without others knowing it, for the groom.

Nutty nuptials? Married to a mob of mishugenehs? Well, you can't pick your own family ... but why pick on this family?

"The characters are not based on our own," assures Yuspa.

But if there is anything that formed a strong base for the offscreen married couple, it was the sage advice of their rabbi from their own Big Day, recalls Yuspa: "He said to us, remember that the day after, you'll have all the trash from the wedding presents, the papers to throw out, but what will remain is the romance and love. It's the emotion that will stay with you."

So do in-laws. Danny seems to be having a problem with the mishpachah. After all, it's not every day a dad wishes his daughter would change her vow to "I don't." Uh, Josh, how ya doing with your own father-in-law?

With a loving laugh, his wife answers instead: "My father feels great about him!"

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