There’s been a couple high-profile stories in the last few months about people who are discovered living in so much squalor and filth, their homes are put under quarantine and closed off as unfit for human inhabitance. I’ve tried showing those stories to my lady-friend who doesn’t appreciate the clothes pile I leave in the closet (it’s a stratified sorting system, lady!) and saying, "It could be worse." She didn’t buy it. Maybe I could get her to read John Searles’ Strange But True, where characters are so caught up in the grief of their past, they turn their personal spaces into land fills.
That’s not even close to the premise of the novel, but I think I could be on to something. Still, in what may be the longest and most non-sensical segue I’ve ever written, I’m trying to get to the fact Strange But True has been tapped for a film adaptation.
The story doesn’t evolve around the filth its characters live in (that’s more incidental as we get to know them); it’s more of a family drama with a bit of crow portent and twisty thriller thrown into the mix. The death of a young man, five years previous, has had depressing ramifications. The girl whom he dated is a morose shut-in, his mother, who is partly responsible for his death, is inconsolable and introverted to the point of ignoring her living son and divorcing her husband. The mystery begins when (strange but true!) the girl shows up, again, five years after junior’s death, at Mom’s door and tells her she’s pregnant with his child.
I don’t what the mystery could be all about. There’s a logical explanation, and it’s called ghost sex.
The film will be produced by Ross Katz, who’s familiar with weird young girls, having recently produced Marie Antoinette.