BY: KYLE WOOSLEY
Like the act itself, Struck by Lightning truly offers a one-in-a-million experience.
Known for his starring role on the Fox hit television series Glee, the film is produced, written by and stars Chris Colfer. And as if that was not enough work from person to do at once, all the while continuing to appear regularly on Glee, Colfer also wrote the book the movie is based on, Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal.
Struck by Lightning is the story of Carson Phillips (Colfer) who is literally struck by lightning and killed within the first five minutes of the movie. Now, before you think I’ve ruined the ending of the story for you, think again.
The film then reflects on Carson’s senior year of high school, right before he was killed. With dreams to write for The New Yorker and attend college at Northerwestern University, Carson feels head and shoulders above the rest of the students at his small-minded high school.
To better his chances of getting into the college of his choice, he is persuaded by his guidance counselor to start a literary magazine at his high school for students to submit their own work.
Once he realizes the students at his school are more conceited than he originally thought, he enlists the help of his friend Malerie Baggs (the notorious Rebel Wilson from Pitch Perfect) to blackmail students into submitting writings.
With some disapproval from his mother (Allison Janney) and his absentee, and soon to be remarried father (Dermot Mulroney), the events of the film eventually come full circle when Carson dies.
While performances from Colfer and Wilson were, as expected, absolutely flawless, one of the most touching comes from Janney, but specifically when she and Colfer interact as mother and son onscreen. The chemistry between the two of them is phenomenal. The nonchalant wordy exchanges throughout the movie and the penultimate blowout between the two is honestly one of the most touching performances in the entire movie.
The movie also does an excellent job at balancing the aspects of comedy and drama without overwhelming you with too much of either. You know when to laugh, you know when to cry, and if you watch this movie, believe me you are going to do both.
By the far the most impressive part of this film is Colfer himself. This film was a work of genius. While sitting in the theater, you can feel how much of himself he truly put into this entire idea, from the book to the screenplay to his own performance.
What really grabs you are the last 15 minutes of the movie. You will literally be in tears as Colfer pulls the audience right into Carson’s mindset and gives everyone who grew up in a small-town with big dreams a reason to keep on fighting through.