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|Index||44 reviews in total|
This movie will touch those who feel a bit lost in life. The movie
began with Chris Colfer's character being killed by lightning, and it
may have been the most random and unlikely event to take place
realistically and you will feel sceptical about how this will all play
out during the movie but by the end of it, re-watching this scene is
Yes, it is a high school movie, bringing in all the clichéd cliques and stereotypes but never in a cheesy manner. All characters play a minor role but ultimately this is Chris Colfer's movie. He plays a great, passionate and driven kid and this only makes his fate more sad. Rebel Wilson does a fun job in playing the odd girl who perhaps is the only person who truly likes Chris' character, Carson.
There is a focus on Carson's relationship with his mother an alcoholic and depressed women, who was left by Carson's father during their marriage. Without saying much it is quite emotional towards the end. It is a great movie, sending a strong message on ambition, future, life and friendship. Watch it, but be warned, it is not a cheesy high school movie, nor will it leave you in a uplifted but emotional state as in the Perks of Being a Wallflower.
"It doesn't matter if you're stuck in the past or if you're trying to forget the past; what matters is what you do with the present"- Struck by Lightning.
This coming of age film was well written and showed one of the other sides of Actor/Writer/Producer Chris Colfer. He originally wrote it when he was about 18 and dipped into some very complicated matters such as divorce. I would recommend this to anyone of any age. Some matters, although they seem very childlike (like blackmailing others to get what you want), touch on some serious aspects such as how schools are run. Although it is unlikely for someone to get struck by lightning and die spontaneously, it does bring awareness to many problems. Rebel Wilson is incredible in this. Even in the end when half the theater was balling their eyes out and i had the equivalent of a glass full of water on my sweater from crying, she made everyone laugh literally out loud. Her one liners were all her; she was doing improv for pretty much the whole move. Recap: EVERYONE NEEDS TO WATCH THIS. its not sappy but its sad, its hilarious, and it touches one important subjects.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this at a film festival and understood immediately why it got an
early comparison to John Hughes movies. Like those, SBL doesn't talk
down to its audience, nor is it sweet in the slightest. There are lots
of one-liners and snarky little jokes that zip by quickly and
naturally, fully expecting the audience to catch them without having to
be hit over the head. Even the tender moments (and there are quite a
few of them) are flavored with a dash of vinegar.
Personally I was surprised by how empathetic lead character Carson Phillips was. He's a self important little snot, but I could easily recognize a deep core of frustration at the heart of his bitter snark. Carson's problem is not that he doesn't care, it's that he cares too much, about everything, and can't understand why other people don't. (Or won't) He can't relate to his peers - except for a shy, quirky girl named Malerie (Rebel Wilson) - and the adults in his life regularly let him down. Everyone around him seems to be either clinging to the past or stubbornly locked into the present, while all Carson wants is a chance to get out of his little town, spread his wings and embrace the future.
Allison Janney and Rebel Wilson have been getting much of the pre-release buzz, but this movie belongs to Chris Colfer all the way. From the first frame to the last, he is the driving force and he is excellent. People who want to write this off as starring "that kid from Glee" should give this movie a chance. I think they'll be pleasantly surprised. Glee and Kurt Hummel never even crossed my mind as I was watching and it took no effort at all to get lost in the narrative and enter into Carson's world for 90 minutes. The actors were all well cast and everyone seemed to really sink their teeth into these roles. And for a first-time writer, Colfer truly impressed me. The plot holds together well and both the teen and adult perspectives are believable and interesting.
This film wasn't what I was expecting - but still enjoyed it.
A warning - don't expect it to be like Glee, it won't leave you feeling uplifted at the end. Having seen the trailer and Rebel Wilson, I assumed this was going to be a comedy, but its actually quite tragic and sad - there are few laughs though.
It actually reminds me of the film 'Orange County' (with Colin Hanks and Jack Black). Carson like Hank's character is trying to escape his difficult family circumstances and go to college and then on to a successful career. Orange County is a little more light hearted though.
Its a good effort by Chris Colfer and out of all the Glee cast I can see him being the most successful. He could be another Ryan Murphy in the making - only nice.
Struck By Lightning was perfect on all levels, I can't believe how much
I related to Carson; he is definitely one of my new favourite fictional
characters ever. As an aspiring author myself, this film was so
inspiring for me in terms of writing, it's really made me want to get
out there and achieve my goals and not end up in a terrible life that I
don't like. This film, although with the unrealistic storyline, was
still so realistic on so many levels and I think this will remain a
lifelong favourite of mine. Chris is so talented on so many levels.
I cannot wait for this to be released on DVD in this country so I can keep it forever.
As a big fan of his television show, Glee, I immediately fell in love with Chris and his character there. I also, as well as Kurt Hummel, identify myself with Carson so much. I am so glad that I saw this film.
It is not a flawless film by any means, but few are. However it does
address something that few movies about high school do; which is the
dichotomy between students who live in the moment and think those years
are the end all and be all, and those who see it as a finite time to
get through for the longer (and hopefully better) future.
The main character's tragedy (among many) is not his ultimate fate but in that in seeking to get though the school years and not enjoying them (or what little there is to find happiness in) misses it, by being focused solely by getting out.
In contrast the other teenage characters (Rebel Wilson's being an exception) have blinders on; in terms of both acceptance of other people and of the existence of the larger world and that they will have to enter it and so forth.
Are there clichés? Yes, but high school students are much the same everywhere so that is an issue of reality and life and not the limitations of the screenwriter.
Are the scenes between Carson and the adults more compelling? Of course, but that is because adults by definition have more life experience (good and bad) to make them more intriguing.
Ultimately, the movie's flaws are minor compared to the whole. It is smart, dead on in observation (especially in regards to the parental and authority figures interaction with Carson and family dynamics), and the casting is brilliant, with one exception.
That would be Dylan McDermotte. Who, besides their mothers, can tell him apart from Dermut Mulroney?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When the Alzheimer's-afflicted grandmother says "I'm worried about my
grandson", my heart starts to break and this terrible feeling lasts
until the end of the movie.
"Struck by Lightning" begins with the 17-year-old protagonist, Carson Phillips (played by Chris Colfer) getting killed by a bolt from the sky in the parking lot. As he recounts and narrates his final days when he was still alive, ambitious and walking around blackmailing his fellow classmates in school to contribute in his literary magazine with the help of his best, and only friend, Malerie (Rebel Wilson), we learn about his plans to get into Northwestern University and become the editor of the New Yorker and writer of the NY Times and LA Times, or even win the Nobel Peace Prize. Mainly, he just wants to leave this town he never leaves, or live a life he never lives.
Carson lives with his divorced mother, Sheryl (Allison Janney) an alcoholic who tells her son that she wishes she had an abortion in the 90s. His father, Neal (Dermot Mulroney) is about to remarry a pregnant local pharmacist, April (Christina Hendricks) who does not know the existence of his ex-wife and his son. There's also the adorable and aging grandmother (Polly Bergen) who no longer recognizes Carson, but still remembers the first story he wrote her "''Once upon a time there was a boy who wanted to fly'."
The movie is about Carson wanting to fly away from this hell hole he lives in, with almost no friends or no family that cares and loves him. It is heartbreaking to see him fail in the end, despite all his effort. He never reaches any of his goals, never says any goodbyes, and never even graduates highschool. But he did actually manage to escape from all the pain in his life: when he drives to see the sunset and ocean for the first time towards the end; when he gets killed by the lightning; and when he completes his final story to his grandmom ("Once upon a time there was a boy who flew.")
Everyone wants to say goodbye to him even when they know it's impossible. His mother repeatedly calls him when she finds out he is dead; Malerie wipes her teary eyes with tissue when she watches the old videos of Carson; grandmom leaves the scarf-blanket she has been knitting on the coffin; and every classmates he blackmailed attended his funeral. They are all witness to his struggle to leave and a boy who does not gives up until his last breath, leaving an emotional void in everyone's hearts.
This movie is a realistic lesson on life and growing up and captures the hardships involved. It may not be smart to kill off the central character in the opening scene but this is not a cheesy happy high school coming-of-age feel-good comedy. Chris Colfer, 22 years old, also wrote the screenplay and he proves himself that he can write and act when he is not singing and dancing as "Glee"'s Kurt Hummel The story is random and nevertheless entertaining most of the time. The film is fast-paced and witty but the narrative does not fully explores the potential of the relationships. However, I understand the reason with all the unfilled gaps because it's just life. We can't always expect to get what we want: closure, development, good-byes.
I am glad I watched this movie and it moved me so many times. In the end our tragic anti- hero Carson becomes the boy who flew but never flew away but what's more important is that he has had a meaningful journey in this insightful movie about life, future, hopes and dreams that never end.
This movie was more than great. I can't really explain. It seemed
strange in the beginning but then it all cleared. I'm a teenager myself
and it's easy to feel what Criss want's me to feel. A quote from movie
that really changed me, I think is "The thing i regret the most is
waiting for life to begin". The reason why it made think a lot is
because I do that. I wait for life begin. I don't live now, I wait say
"when I get older I will..". But life is short and you can die in most
unexpected ways ever. So from now on I will try to live and not wait
for life to begin.
This movie really changed me, I really think.
Struck by Lightning hit me hard, it touched me, made me laugh and left me relieved when it was finished. I have to say it was actually Rebel Wilson that made me want to watch this movie. She's as always hilarious no matter what she does. Chris Colfer is definitely one of the best young actors in Hollywood today and i think that the idea he had with Struck By Lightning came through in the end. Its about not standing back and not to let others push you around. To do everything you can to ensure your future (it is after all survival of the fittest). You won't be wasting your time...if you're into teen movies this is a must see. If they keep making movies like this I think there'll be a bright future ahead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Starring and written by Chris Colfer, this film is a comedic reminder
of how reputation is not everything and that some people who think
about their futures might never reach it"
When actors decide to do something other then acting such as writing, directing or even producing it can either produce good results or really uncertain results. Carson Phillips (Chris Colfer) is just a normal mid western boy but even though he does not fit into high school so he spends most of his time thinking about his future and what he can do to reach these goals. His father Neal Phillips (Dermot Mulroney) is marrying another women while Carson lives with his mother Sheryl (Allison Janney) who he has to take care while also taking care of himself. In school he leads the writers club but when he wants to get into his dream college he black mails many of the students and teachers to help him write a literary magazine so he can get to his dream college.
The plot sounds simple but the unexpected twist is not a spoiler but in connection with the title of the film. The first thing we see is our main character get struck by lightning and die which makes the film a flashback on his life just before he died showing us all the ups and downs he went through to get help from so many people that did not like him much, Colfer wrote the screenplay and for a first time screenwriter I believe that he shows some promise especially since his writing was very moving I thought and just long enough to get me to care for the characters and film. The film may be based in a small town but the film does a good job at showing us some of the problems people in small towns might have especially Carson who seems to have so many problems himself but then everybody his life is problematic.
Chris Colfer plays the main character Carson and even though he is a knew actor this is his first big part on the screen and finally instead of being dramatic on a comedy show where he normally is out of place he gets to shine in this film because his natural dramatic acting is called for him to use in most of his scenes. Allison Janney plays Sheryl his mother and even though she mostly stays in the house she just about steals the film from everybody because she may be funny in some scenes she really gets the dramatic stuff and Janney always plays these characters well. Janney and Colfer also have great chemistry playing off each other so well. Rebel Wilson is in about ever other film and as usual she is a light spot of comedy in every scene she is in. The cast is much bigger then these three but the others do have quick small scenes. The standouts of the supporting cast are Polly Bergen, Christina Hendricks and Dermot Mulroney.
The film is small but moving at the same time especially since the character of Carson can be very unlikeable throughout the film. Some funny moments throughout but most of the film is dramatic. The consistent voice-over by Colfer did get annoying the more times it was because I felt that it was unneeded to explain nearly everything in the film for the audience.
MOVIE GRADE: B (MVP: Allison Janney)
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