STRUCK BY LIGHTNING Movie Review
Struck By Lightning poster: © 2012 Tribeca Film.
Jan. 11, 2013
Taking on the well-worn subjects of high school angst and drama, it would be easy for Struck By Lightning to feel trite and clichéd. But Struck By Lightning is not your average high school coming-of-age movie. It dares to be different from start to finish, and succeeds in being a funny and enjoyable dark teen comedy that pulls no punches about, well, anything.
Written by Chris Colfer (Glee) and directed by Brian Dannelly (Saved!), Struck By Lightning stars Chris Colfer, Allison Janney, Rebel Wilson, Sarah Hyland, Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks, and Polly Bergen, with supporting performances by Allie Grant, Ashley Rickards, Carter Jenkins, Graham Rogers, Matt Prokop, Robbie Amell, Roberto Aguire, Angela Kinsey, and Brad William Henke.
Struck By Lightning‘s frank and sarcastic humor is delightfully different from today’s mainstream, excessively-PC teen entertainment. The film’s deft way with its comedy also proves just how thoughtful its casting really is, as many of the actors and actresses are well-versed in satire.
Each member of Struck By Lightning‘s talented ensemble cast contributes memorably to the film as a whole. Some play their parts for laughs—like Angela Kinsey‘s school guidance counselor, who has little-to-no useful guidance to offer. Others are much less amusing, but no less enjoyable. Notable among these performances is Allison Janney, who is devastatingly biting as Carson’s booze-and-pill-addicted mother Sheryl. Even as you dislike her for what she says and does, you can’t help but pity her—and Janney’s palpable anguish and heartache over the loss of her son will bring tears to your eyes.
As the film’s driven and belligerent protagonist, Chris Colfer‘s cynical and self-righteous Carson is surprisingly endearing and quite funny—particularly when his snappy and clever mockery goes right over the head of the person to whom he’s speaking. Rebel Wilson shines as Malerie, Carson’s comrade-in-arms and only real friend. Whether nonchalantly reading the prose of Dickens and Melville as if it were her own, or aiding and abetting “Operation Clovergate,” Wilson’s trademark style of hilarity does not disappoint.
Struck By Lightning is intelligent and laugh-out-loud funny in a wry and dark way that few films—especially teen movies—accomplish successfully. Certain to be considered another Brian Dannelly classic, Struck By Lightning a must-see for fans of dark teen comedies.
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For a list of theaters showing Struck By Lightning (beginning Friday, Jan. 11),
see the film’s Official Website.