Avoid your friend for the rest of
No, not really. That's not an
effective solution. (Besides, he'll eventually
find you and corner you at a party and want to know if
you liked his screenplay.)
So, what to do, what to do?
(I repeated "what to do?" in order to create
an effect of deeply pondering the question -- which I
really didn't do.)
Never read his screenplay, and
continually come up with excuses why you haven't gotten
1.) "I tried to read
your screenplay last night, but it kept falling off the
2.) "I wanted to read
your screenplay, but the wind kept turning the page when
I didn't want it to."
3.) "My dog ate my
homework, then your screenplay."
4.) "I was just about to
read your screenplay, when I was robbed at gunpoint and
the thief absconded with my cell-phone, my wallet, and
You could lie and tell your friend
that you absolutely love his script. But that
won't work. He'll just write another one and want
your opinion on that one, too -- and you'll be back
where you started, with your original question.
But don't despair. Unless you
want to. In fact, if you despair enough, you could
send yourself into such a low state that you could use
that as an excuse for not reading your friend's
screenplay "I'd love to read your screenplay,
friend, but I'm far too depressed." Actually,
that might work quite well.
But, in case you don't want to
spiral (or directly drop) down into a steady of deadly
and horrific misery, there may be another
solution: Welcome your friend; embrace him and his
query as he seeks to know your reaction to his
screenplay. Keep smiling as you listen to the
proverbial question, "So, what did you think?"
or "Did you like it?"
You could use the Zen answer of
answering a question with a question: "What's
not to like?" or "How could I not like
But, if you want to be a little
more direct, you could go in the direction of
gratitude: "Thanks so much for letting me
read your script. I really appreciated your
writing and how you wrote your story."
Or, you could employ a cryptic
approach: "Your script was so... I can't even
describe my reaction to it. I'm still processing
the experience of reading such a screenplay. I'm
truly blown away and an not sure how long it's going to
take to recover." (You can make it 40 or 50
Or you could take an opposite
approach and be so truthful that the screenwriter will
assume that you're being sarcastic: "Hated
He'll decode those two words and,
after he realizes that you couldn't have hated it (which
you did) and, thus, must be being sarcastic, he will
believe that you LOVED it. Just remember to keep
smiling as you tell him.
And a lot of erudite nodding helps,