Starring: Chris Colfer, Rebel Wilson, Alison Janney
Director: Brian Dannelly
Running Time: 83 mins
Struck By Lightning is an American film about an ambitious high schooler who recounts the time when he blackmailed some fellow students into writing for his school paper.
This is one of those modern films that was released and almost immediately forgotten. I’m not saying that that’s not entirely warranted, but Struck By Lightning does show some of the merits of indie debuts, as despite a generally plain and unfunny script, it has some brilliantly genuine moments of emotion that you just don’t see in bigger budget dramas.
I’ll start off with that, because the few poignant moments were very impressive to see. Especially seeing as this is Chris Colfer’s screenwriting debut, the level of emotional strength in some moments is fantastic. Although the opening scene, intended to shock you (no pun intended) and grab your interest immediately, doesn’t quite work, when we return to that moment at the end of the film, it’s a whole lot more emotionally powerful, and provides the only properly engaging moment of the whole movie.
Apart from that, however, there’s not too much to really enjoy about this film. Whilst it’s never overly annoying, and there are one or two laughs, this is one of those films that has a really tough time getting you interested in its characters.
It’s a dark comedy-drama, so it’s more important to have well-fleshed out characters, but in Struck By Lightning, it never moves beyond the stereotypical personalities introduced at the beginning. So, we have the bitter divorced mother, played by Alison Janney, the nerdy fat girl, played by Rebel Wilson, and the annoyingly arrogant and smug young go-getter, played by Chris Colfer.
That’s no slight on the performances, because all the actors stick to their characters pretty well, but the issue is that those characters aren’t written very well, and there’s very little drama or development over the course of the film to make you care about them at all.
Overall, Struck By Lightning has a few fantastic moments. However, they don’t speak for the majority of the film, which is generally dull, and not particularly funny either, so that’s why I’m giving this a 6.4.