Hollywood Now: Girlfriends’ Guide; Adam & Leighton; Millionaire Matchmaker’s Celebs

By Gerri Miller

November 25, 2014


Interfaith Drama in Girlfriends’ Guide

Girlfriends' Guide
Paul Adelstein & Lisa Edelstein with Conner Dwelly & Dylan Schombing. Credit: Bravo Media/Carole Segal

The new Bravo comedy-drama series Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce is about the end of a marriage and what happens to the couple involved, their families and their friends in the aftermath. At the center of it is an interfaith couple played by Jewish actors Lisa Edelstein (House, The Legend of Korra) and Paul Adelstein (Scandal, Private Practice), whose characters Abby and Jake are each from interfaith families (in her case, her mother is Jewish; in his case, his father is Jewish). In the second episode of the series, which premieres Dec. 2, religion becomes an issue as they discuss the divorce with a mediation counselor.

“All of a sudden, it needs to be spelled out that the kids are going to be raised Jewish,” Adelstein sets the scene. “What’s funny about it is the kids are already being raised Jewish—it’s not an issue until she makes it an issue. It feels out of nowhere: She’s saying, ‘Your mother’s not Jewish so you’re not really Jewish,’ and Jake says, ‘Your mother is Jewish but you weren’t raised Jewish.’ Jake was a bar mitzvah. Abby wasn’t a bat mitzvah. It ends up being ridiculous and the mediator has to weigh in on it.”

However, “They do find a middle ground,” Adelstein says. “One of the things they decide is that it would be nice to have a family Shabbat even if they’re splitting up. That’s at the end of episode two and that, in contrast to everything else that’s going on is really moving to see.”

The series, while scathingly funny, also has some serious things to say about relationships, reinvention and life after 40. Relationships “are not a constant, they change, and our preconceived notions of what they’re going to look like changes. If it doesn’t change it’s probably going to break,” notes Adelstein, who consulted in the writer’s room and wrote the fourth episode of the show.

In real life, he’s married to actress Liza Weil (How to Get Away With Murder), also Jewish, and they have a four-year-old daughter, Josephine. While he hasn’t personally experienced divorce, past breakups and observation of others’ splits served as research. “I had friends growing up whose parents went through divorce,” he says.

Brody & MeesterAdam & Leighton: Life Partners

There are interesting relationship dynamics in the new romantic comedy Life Partners, both on screen and off camera. It’s about two best girlfriends, one gay (Leighton Meester) and one straight (Gillian Jacobs) and what happens to their relationship when the straight one falls in love with a guy (Adam Brody). Last February, the Jewish Brody and not Jewish Meester were married, having met and worked together on the set of another movie, The Oranges, in 2010. In that film, Meester’s character rejects Brody’s—in favor of his father (Hugh Laurie). In Life Partners, she’s obviously not interested either. But since conventional Hollywood wisdom warns against real-life couples playing love interests, it seems like this couple found a clever way to abide by that and still work together. The movie opens Dec. 5 in limited release.

Patti & DavidPatti Finds Love for Celebs

Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger returns to Bravo on December 7 with a new twist in the love match game: This season she’s finding dates for reality stars and tabloid regulars with guest appearances from Kristin Cavallari, Perez Hilton and Larry Birkhead. And we hear that the Jewish matchmaker might finally marry her beau who is not Jewish, mortgage broker David Krausse.


About Gerri Miller

Gerri Miller writes and reports from Los Angeles about celebrities, entertainment and lifestyle for The Jewish Journal, FromtheGrapevine.com, Brain World, HeathCentral.com, and others. A New York native, she spent a summer working at Kibbutz Giv'at Brenner in Israel and attends High Holy Day services at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood every year.