Here’s how the story goes:
English novelist Evelyn Waugh reluctantly visits Hollywood to meet with MGM executives about adapting his most successful work, Brideshead Revisited, which none of the suits has ever read and the writer has no interest in bastardizing for a big studio paycheck. They can’t reach an agreement, and the trip is mostly a disaster.
In fact, Waugh hates everything about Los Angeles except for the sprawling Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. His tours of the facilities and corporate offices lead to a (quite literal!) morbid fascination with the burgeoning American death-industrial complex. He writes The Loved One, an offbeat, biting satire of both Hollywood and funeral home culture that’s generally well-received but also deemed unfilmable by everyone who reads it. Even the great surrealist Luis Bunuel, the master of absurd cinema, couldn’t crack the book’s code.