‘Struck by Lightning’ Movie Review – Adding to the Repertoire
Even before I knew some of the background behind Struck by Lightning, I was intrigued and genuinely entertained by what it had to offer. When I dug more into the story, I found out that the star, Chris Colfer, also wrote the story. Even though I have this disdain for Glee (which made him famous), I must give this 22-year-old props for writing and starring in this movie (and its one-man show), as well as writing not one, but two, New York Times bestsellers.
This guy is an up-and-comer in the entertainment business. For some, he’s already been on your radar. For me, I look forward to what Colfer can offer in the future.
As for Struck by Lightning, it is a coming-of-age story about a high schooler, Carson (Colfer), who is trying his hardest to reach his dreams. “Coming-of-age” is a strange word to use because the movie literally starts with him being killed by a lightning strike.
This isn’t much of a spoiler, though, because the point of the story is to look back on the months leading up to his death. It becomes more about his dreams, aspirations, personality, and social makeup than his death.
From the description, without looking at posters, trailers, or etc., the genre may be a tad ambiguous. However, Struck by Lightning is still somehow a light-hearted comedy. It uses a bunch of teen and high school angst to highlight, again, how difficult high school is.
This is probably the only mark I have on the film. Maybe I’m the weird one, but I haven’t found any movie portrayal of high school even close to accurate. Unfortunately, Struck by Lightning falls into this category. This is more ironic because, at one point, one of the characters snaps at Carson, saying “we are not high school clichés!” I couldn’t disagree more because the characters included a stuck-up cheerleader (Sarah Hyland), preppy rich kid (Carter Jenkins), stupid jock (Robbie Amell), antisocial goth (Ashley Rickards), and the list continues even to the high school staff.
Ultimately, I can look past some of these things. Since the story focuses on Carson’s life, I thought there were some great plot nuggets. And for being extremely light-hearted, there was an emotional kick that bumped the film up considerably.
It does help that I have extreme respect for Colfer as an all-around artist. His acting is great here, but the best part is definitely the script. As much as I didn’t like the high school setting, I thought the dialogue was very genuine.
Carson’s best friend (Rebel Wilson) is the perfect partner-in-crime, too, and I think she adds a lot to the story. Known for her more comedic turn in Bridesmaids, Wilson is a bit more restrained here, and I’m glad it wasn’t about showcasing what we’ve already seen from her.
Struck by Lightning may sound like a tragic reflective drama, but it’s actually a funny coming-of-age high school story. When you eliminate the various high school clichés, the story goes above and beyond what you may expect. Chris Colfer is to thank for the comedy, too, and his writing and acting is put on display. Seriously, this guy is a force to be reckoned with, and this just proves screenwriting is another talent in his repertoire.
See Struck by Lightning this weekend using Video On Demand services, or hit up your local theaters if you are in New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, Phoenix, Columbus, or Clovis, CA.
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