But halfway through production of the romantic comedy, Marshall, who served in the Army in the Korean War, realized something was missing – acknowledgement of soldiers stationed overseas during the holidays, far away from their loved ones.
“It was very important (to include a solider), but that scene wasn’t in the original script,” Marshall told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “Katherine Fugate wrote a beautiful script, but Halle Berry wasn’t available at the time. She suddenly became available in the middle (of filming) and said she wanted to do something. So I wrote her a whole story – it was nice I got to include them (the troops).”
Berry, who plays in a palliative care nurse in the film, slips into a sexy dress just before the stroke of midnight, only to flip open her laptop to celebrate the countdown with her beloved via video chat from his digs amid a war zone.
The occasion also holds a special place in Marshall’s own heart, as it was on New Year’s Eve nearly five decades ago that he became engaged to the love of his life, Barbara.
“She was wearing a dress the same color as the dress Halle Berry wears in the movie,” he recalled. “It’s always been a favorite holiday.”
And while the “Happy Days” creator has never been one to make resolutions – although he did make a point of claiming that the hardest thing he has ever done to was commit to giving up cigarettes, which he did successfully on April 13th, 1982 – Marshall has a couple of things on his wish list for 2012.
“My one main hope is that our servicemen come back, I hope safe, as many as possible. I was in Korea for two years and I have a special place for that. And then there is Japan with all the problems they’ve had (this year),” Marshall added. “But you always get these actors that say they are helping world peace and world hunger -- no they are not helping world peace and hunger at all. But if they can portray something that will give people hope, that matters. I am from the school where being nice matters. And I hope that those people that are lonely out there will meet someone in 2012.”