August 13, 2010


HBO has acquired two literary adaptations from producer John Lesher, both scripted by folks known for the work in features.  According to Deadline, Oscar-winner William Monahan (The Departed) will adapt Keys to the City: The Tales of a New York City Locksmith.  The book is a collection of fourteen stories about the characters that author Joel Kostman encountered during a twenty-year stint as a locksmith; Kostman is on board as consultant.

Meanwhile, Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) is hard at work  milking a series out of The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Cathleen Schine’s homage to Sense and Sensibility.  As the book begins, Betty Weissmann’s husband of nearly fifty years announces he is divorcing her.  She then moves to a beach cottage in Westport, Connecticut and reconnects with her daughters, who suffer from their own problems.  Hit the jump for full synopses of both novels.

keys_to_the_city_joel_kostman_book_coverA synopsis for Keys to the City:

Called “Doctor of the Deadbolt” by The New York Times, musician-turned-locksmith Joel Kostman has been collecting stories about the New York characters he’s encountered in twenty years on the job: the poor and the wealthy, the friendly and the lonely, and, of course, the eccentric. As Kostman quietly lets them into their apartments, cars, or safes, they let down their guard and let him into their lives.

Here we meet a ninety-two-year-old cousin of Eddie Cantor who urges Kostman to try on one of the singer’s jackets; a doctor who was Bugsy Siegel’s personal physician; a very sexy Jersey girl; and five naked old men listening to Mozart in a steaming apartment, while a 35-degree-below-zero wind blows outside. In vignettes reminiscent of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Keys to the City is an unforgettable collection of fourteen encounters with New Yorkers locked out, locked in–and a few not far from being locked up.  [Amazon]


A synopsis for The Three Weissmanns of Westport:

A geriatric stepfather falls in love with a scheming woman half his age in Schine’s Sense and Sensibility–flecked and compulsively readable follow-up to The New Yorkers. Betty Weissman is 75 when Joseph, her husband of nearly 50 years, announces he’s divorcing her. Soon, Betty moves out of their grand Central Park West apartment and Joseph’s conniving girlfriend, Felicity, moves in. Betty lands in a rundown Westport, Conn., beach cottage, but things quickly get more complicated when Betty’s daughters run into their own problems.

Literary agent Miranda is sued into bankruptcy after it’s revealed that some of her authors made up their lurid memoirs, and Annie, drowning in debt, can no longer afford her apartment. Once they relocate to Westport, both girls fall in love—Annie rather awkwardly with the brother of her stepfather’s paramour, and Miranda with a younger actor who has a young son. An Austen-esque mischief hovers over these romantic relationships as the three women figure out how to survive and thrive.  [Amazon]