Struck By Lightning
"Struck by Lightning" is a perfect storm of amazing actors and a unique and witty script by "Glee" standout Chris Colfer. Sadly, Colfer’s character choice and underutilizing some of the hottest actors on television make it less than electrifying. The Blu-ray doesn’t feature much in the way of bonus features but does have alternate endings that would significantly affect the film.
Carson Phillips (Colfer) tells the story of his life. He has an alcoholic, pill-popping mother (Allison Janney), an absentee father (Dermot Mulroney) and an oblivious best friend (Rebel Wilson). Despite being the unpopular leader of the writing club and school newspaper, he isn’t picked on. Instead, he picks on administrators, gay students and popular kids. To get into Northwestern, he devises a literary magazine and decides to blackmail the popular kids into contributing. In the end, he’s changed the lives of everyone around him.
Colfer’s Carson Phillips is like an anti-Ferris Bueller. He says whatever is on his mind without reproach. He achieves the impossible with witty banter and balls of steel. However, Colfer’s pained cherubic demeanor comes off as whiny and bitchy rather than charismatic or inspirational. He spends the whole film being bitter and snarky while charismatic actors shine through superficial, one-dimensional roles.
Rebel Wilson really elevates her role. She plays a quiet simplistic girl but still manages her genius comic wit while being vulnerable, sweet and tugging at your heartstrings. Ashley Rickards ("Awkward") plays the Goth girl, Sarah Hyland ("Modern Family") plays the cheerleader and Allie Grant is the type-A yearbook girl. These three actress shine and really showcase how skilled and dynamic they are given their somewhat simplistic roles. Also, Christina Hendricks who stars on "Mad Men" is completely underutilized.
The Blu-ray has some wasted special features. The two interview featurettes, "Story Behind the Scenes" and "An Interview with Chris Colfer" are short viral video length moments that feature Colfer and director Brian Dannelly discussing the film. However, considering the fact that Colfer is a first time screenwriter and some of the most amazing television personalities appear in the film, there should be more off-screen interviews. The blooper reel is also a little lackluster. There are some funny improvised lines, but it does continue the general flat tone of the film.
The highlight of the film is the deleted scenes. There are alternate endings that really save the tone of the film. Colfer’s character is somewhat loathsome in the film. To have more scenes of Carson inspiring everyone around him and seeing more of the great actors in the film would make the film seem less morose and misanthropic.
"Struck by Lightning" shows Chris Colfer’s skills as a screenwriter. Sadly, he does not have the range to carry a film when surrounded by much more dynamic actors. The film falls a little flat despite the wit and heart of the script.
"Struck by Lightning"