Sunday, December 23, 2012
REVIEW: Struck By Lightning
Struck By Lightning
Chris Colfer, Allison Janney
NR (TV-14 on TV)
December 19, 2012 (VOD)
January 11, 2013 (Limited)
1 hour 24 minutes
There are those movies out there that have a reasonably good cast and a really good story but fall under the wayside of the movie industry due to the fact that they're not big releases. 'Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World,' 'Safety Not Guaranteed,' and 'Ruby Sparks' are among those movies that just didn't make it to a large audience. It unfortunately seems like it's going to happen once more, this time to a teeny tiny movie called 'Struck By Lightning.' The star and writer of the film is Chris Colfer, who's most notable for his role as Kurt on the hit TV show 'Glee.' The director of the movie is Brian Dannelly, who's most notable for his 2004 teen film 'Saved!' This film premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and was never picked up by a major distributor like Sony Pictures Classics or Fox Searchlight, which means the film will have a very small run in theaters along with an On-Demand/Digital Download release that some may be able to find. That truly is a shame because 'Struck By Lightning,' despite the feel of a really small movie, deserved a bigger release and a bigger campaign helping spreading the word out to the public. This film is a true gem, packing in laughs, drama, and a realistic feel that ends (or begins, however you want to determine it) tragically.
High-school senior Carson Phillips just doesn't understand why his peers act the way they do and why nobody seems to be interested in things that he finds important. Many at the school hate him, or rather don't understand him enough to a point where they assume that hatred is the best label to put on. Carson is trying to go to the college of his dreams to he can get the job of his dreams, but he has to do something big in order to get the attention of the college. He decides to write a literary magazine since school papers (he's the editor of the school paper, which nobody wants to be a part of) don't fly with colleges much anymore. After a chance encounter in a boy's bathroom, Carson decides that the best way to get people, more specifically the popular kids of his school, to write for the literary magazine is to get some dirty news and blackmail students with what he has on them. Not much else can be said without spoiling some great things about the film.
With this movie, Chris Colfer proves that he's more than a courageous homosexual boy which he plays very well on 'Glee.' The movie plays less like 'Glee' and more like 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower,' in which the characters and the story are deeper and more relatable than the poster or trailer might suggest. The thing that I adore the most about Colfer's great script is that it doesn't have a happy ending. Well, not EXACTLY a happy ending, but it's hard to explain without giving a lot away, which I don't want to do. Not only does the script have some great realistic drama put in there, but it also has characters who all have their flaws, as well as some funny jokes in the first half. Colfer, along with the entire cast of familiar faces, deliver on great performances. The true star of the film though is Colfer's script because not only does it give off a clever and interesting story, but it also shows how great of a writer he actually is and how much potential lies within his unique mind.
Director Brian Dannelly has a knack for high school drama. This is only his second directorial effort after 'Saved!' and he shows that not only does he know how to accurately show the dramatic elements of a high schooler's lifestyle, but he also understands the teenage mind and uses that knowledge to help direct each actor in a way that feels real. Like 'Perks of Being a Wallflower,' this movie strikes (no pun intended) directly into the mind and life of a teenager and creates likable and relatable characters with situations that work out like how many things in life turn out: not good. Brian Dannelly and Chris Colfer are a dream team made in indie heaven, together making a movie truly worth watching. 'Struck By Lightning' is a true gem worth looking for On-Demand or on any Digital Download server, and definitely deserved a bigger distribution than what it's getting right now.