STARRING: Chris Colfer, Rebel Wilson, Allison Janney, Sarah Hyland, Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks, Ashley Rickards, Angela Kinsey, Matt Prokop, Graham Rogers, Carter Jenkins, Allie Grant, Robbie Arnell, Brad William Henke, Ken Marino.
WRITTEN BY: Chris Colfer
DIRECTED BY: Brian Dannelly
So you want another generic teen movie? Look no further than Glee star Chris Colfer’s screenwriting debut, Struck By Lightning, which got buried in limited theatrical release earlier this year, and is silently now on video. All this despite featuring Rebel Wilson in a rather large role. Why, you may ask yourself, was this not given a larger release, especially given the impressive cast? Well, this is no Easy A.
Colfer plays Carson Phillips, the editor of the school newspaper, and aspiring journalist, who at the beginning of the film is struck by lightning and killed. What we see next are the series of events that led up to his death, which involve Carson’s desperate attempt to get into Northwestern University.
Wilson plays his friend, an aspiring writer who just keeps writing Moby Dick and videotapes everything she sees.Hyland is the head cheerleader, Rickards is a goth, Prokop is a stoner, Jenkins is a rich brat, Grant is the yearbook boss, Rogers is the theatre king, and Arnell is the quarterback. Carson manages to blackmail all his classmates (except Wilson, who is in on it) into writing for a magazine he’s created with the hopes of getting Northwestern’s attention. But, as we learn the moral of the story, Carson begins to ask himself… AT WHAT COST!?
Janney plays the mom, Mulroney the dad, and Hendricks the future step-mom. Their sub-storyline involving a failed marriage, and a divorce that never happened never really goes anywhere, and Mulroney and Janney aren’t characters you can sympathize with. They just come across as whiny and unable to get over things that happened a long time ago. Same can be said for Carter, who turns into the films villain when he blackmails everyone into doing his bidding. Finally, he realizes the err in his ways, but AT WHAT COST!??
In the end, everyone is just playing a stereotype of something we’ve seen before. There is no new ground broken here, just a retread of other teen films. This one just happens to star Colfer, in a sexually ambiguous role (which might be a stretch for him). I almost with lightning had struck, because maybe Colfer would have found a better idea than this.
FINAL GRADE: C-