I read a fair number of scripts. Not as many as perhaps I should-- I tend to read them in bursts-- but I've probably read a hundred movie scripts this year and about the same number of TV scripts. Most of what I read is not that inspiring. Some of them I can appreciate even if I don't love-- most of them I can see why they're getting made or not getting made-- but very rarely do I read something that has me laughing out loud at my computer, or forgetting that I'm sitting in front of my computer reading, forgetting that I could stop and do something else instead.
I just read the script for Albert Brooks's movie, "Mother." I've seen Mother three times, I think. It's absolutely a terrific movie, I've forced more than one person to watch it, it's very very funny.
Sometimes I really like a script and then it turns into a less terrific movie (The Invention of Lying comes to mind). I don't usually experience it in the other direction-- I don't usually read scripts when I've already seen the movie-- so maybe it happens this way all the time, but, gosh, I was blown away reading the Mother script. There are some scenes, or at least some lines, that felt new-- I assume they were cut from the movie, or the draft of the script I stumbled on wasn't the final version. But even the ones that weren't new still had me laughing, out loud, alone, at my desk.
I forget sometimes that a script can be really good. That a great script can read great-- that no matter how tempting, I shouldn't be rationalizing to myself that something can be funny in execution that isn't on the page. Yes, that happens-- but it doesn't always happen, and the standard can still be funny on the page. Good script, good movie, I wish Albert Brooks made movies more often than he does.