View slideshow Glee star writes, stars in teen-centered flick (VIDEO)
Chris Colfer directs performance at young viewers, parents
Struck By Lightning runs at 84 minutes and is not rated. The flick is playing as select theaters and is also available nationwide on demand.
Not often does a local student make it into the big leagues in Hollywood, but for Glee's Chris Colfer that's exactly what he did. After finishing high school at Clovis East High School, Colfer landed his role on Glee, where his career really took off. This past year, Colfer has worked with Tribeca Film to create a movie he wrote and stars in: Struck By Lightning.
As Chris said in a pre-screening interview, he hoped the movie would be geared mostly towards teenagers and their parents. His hope was to introduce parents to the daily frustrations and struggles that teenagers face each school day.
The story revolves around Carson Phillips (Colfer) who is a senior who aspires to become a very successful, very driven journalist and writer. The movie follows his quest to produce his own literary magazine in order to better his chances of admittance into Northwestern University.
During the opening scene Carson dies by being struck by lightning, so the rest of the film is a recollection of his senior year. By opening the movie with Carson's death, the viewer automatically is on "Team Carson" for the remainder of the flick.
After receiving the idea to produce a literary magazine from the clueless Ms. Sharpton (Angela Kinsey), Carson and his friend Malerie Baggs (Rebel Wilson) attempt to encourage their peers to submit entries. But after their efforts are foiled by some students, they begin to blackmail particular students in order to gain entries for the magazine.
Here is where the fun part of the plot comes, where the audience is shown each scenario that Carson discovers to use as blackmail. In there particular scenes, it is obvious that the script was written by Colfer as the shallow, petty students are accurate portrayals of the usual high school student.
"Most of the high school cliches are included in the film, which makes it originality lessen a lot. Though despite the predictability of the plot, I could really relate to the characters, especially Carson." --Tynin Fries, Editor-in-Chief
Carson also experiences grief during this time due to family issues, while also attempting to juggle the literary magazine and the writers' club. This struggle to find balance between private life, academics and social interaction is one of the most important themes this movie represents.
For teenagers, whom Colfer wrote the movie for, this balance is hard to express to parents, but the film does well at showing the very strained relationship between Carson and his mother, Sheryl Phillips (Allison Janney).
Though expected of an independent film, the acting was not perfect. But Colfer and Wilson had many scenes that reminded me of things my friends and I would do. Wilson was a minor character in the film, but also had a great performance as the lonely, misunderstood girl.
Glee's Chris Colfer, right, stars in his own independent film which he also wrote and helped in producing. The film, Struck By Lightning follows senior year of Carson Phillips before he dies by being struck by lightning.
The fact that the main character dies is an interesting way to encourage the viewer to "chase their dreams," as Colfer said in an interview. Carson's death gave the movie a depressing atmosphere as the viewer knows his efforts cannot save his life.
This movie isn't perfect, but the obvious intent to inspire young kids is there. I enjoyed the film, but I probably wouldn't encourage viewers to see it until it comes out on DVD or Netflix.
Most of the high school cliches are included in the film, which makes its originality lessen a lot. Though despite the predictability of the plot, I could really relate to the characters, especially Carson.
For those interested in seeing the film, don't expect something as amazing as Les Miserables, but view the film mainly to watch the themes of the story.
Struck By Lightning runs at 84 minutes and is not rated. The flick is playing in select theaters and is also available nationwide on demand.
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