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About The Production
The film depicts Burroughs' unsettling, humor-filled and highly personal recollections of growing up under the most berserk and often shocking circumstances. Raised by a bright but barely functional mother given to psychotic episodes, and an alcoholic father who left when the going got rough, the film tells the story of how Augusten was ultimately sent at 12 years old to live with his mother's shrink and the doctor's family of outrageous eccentrics. Seen through the eyes of a child's vivid mix of curiosity, compassion and dismay, the film depicts a flurry of alternately bracing and hilarious encounters with mental illness, sex, prescription drugs and counter-culture therapy that left Augusten's boyhood innocence in smithereens – and illustrates the way in which Augusten eventually broke free of it all to become a lauded writer.

Burroughs says now of his childhood: "It was definitely crazy and kind of awful and scary but it was also thrilling because I knew it was a once in a life time experience. And I paid very close attention when I was living that experience. I knew that I was going through something that if it didn't kill me would make me better in the end.”

Audiences will fall in love not only with the film's raucous, unflinching humor but with the inspirational idea that a person can move beyond, and even come to laugh about, the most twisted and seemingly incomprehensible of pasts.

Writer/director Ryan Murphy found himself instantly drawn to this project. Best known as the creator of the provocative television drama "Nip/Tuck,” Murphy was struck with a vision for how to create a screenplay that would tell an entertaining but also transcendent cinematic experience right from the start. "What I love about this project is that even though it was a very specific story about childhood, it's also very much about the universal quest for family and identity,” says Murphy. "I always thought the most important thing is that this is a survival story. It says that, ultimately, if you believe in yourself and in the idea that everybody has something to say, you can endure dire circumstances. It's also a story of forgiveness. Forgiving others is often really about forgiving yourself -- and when Augusten decides to forgive his mother for giving him away and for her mental illness, it allows him to go forward with hope.”

Murphy found that, despite the bizarre circumstances, many elements of Burroughs' reminiscences of growing up in the 70s resonated deeply with his own. "Augusten and I are the same age so we have the same reference points,” Murphy explains. "All the movies and television shows, record albums, books and magazines that he loved, I loved. It's interesting when you find somebody like that who is a real soul mate on a creative level.”

When Murphy first met with Burroughs, he made it clear that he intended to focus on the larger spirit and themes of the film. The bottom line was that Murphy wanted to make absolutely sure that none of the film's characters, no matter their failings or foibles, would come off on screen as villains. Instead, he hoped to emphasize the stark and sometimes tragic humanity of everyone involved in the story – from the eternally vulnerable Deirdre to Dr. Finch, who in the film can be as charmingly affectionate as he is disconcerting. Burroughs was intrigued by this approach, especially because Murphy wasn't willing to stop until he had fully probed Augusten's life and mind.

"When people see the movie, they will see some things that came through the personal discussions Ryan and I had,” says Burroughs. "There's a lot of additional richness in the screenplay that came from our talking together. At the same time, Ryan was also very protective. He was never thinking about wild, funny ideas he could use simply for the sake of the film, or saying ‘this would be cool

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