September 24, 2008 / 8:04 AM / in 10 years

Ambrose, Kaufman take "Unorthodox" roles

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Lauren Ambrose and Adam Kaufman lead the cast of “Unorthodox,” a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation for CBS.

Cast member Lauren Ambrose gestures during the panel for the FOX television series "The Return of Jezebel James" at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California July 23, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Susie Essman, Ricki Lake and Mercedes Ruehl co-star in the film, which is now in production.

Based on P’nenah Goldstein’s play “Loving Leah,” “Unorthodox” centers on Jake (Kaufman), a 30-year-old doctor whose estranged older brother, a rabbi in a close-knit Hasidic community, dies. Jake is asked to marry his late brother’s 26-year-old widow, Leah (Ambrose), honoring the ancient Levirate Marriage Law.

To keep their mothers (Ruehl, Essman) at bay, Jake and Leah decide to enter a pretend marriage, living separate lives out of Jake’s apartment. That proves challenging, especially after they start to fall for each other.

Lake plays a Washington rabbi who befriends Leah. Also cast is Christy Pusz as Jake’s girlfriend.

Jeff Bleckner is directing “Unorthodox” from a script by Goldstein.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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