‘Struck by Lightning’ Movie Review by Film Critic Debbie Lynn Elias (Spoilers)


Our friend film critic Debbie Lynn Elias reviewed the film Struck by Lightning starring Chris Colfer and an all-star cast! Beware of possible spoilers!

Struck by Lightning is in theaters nationwide this weekend (January 11th)


With an awkward beauty celebrating the beauty of awkwardness that hits you like a bolt of emotional lightning in the third act, STRUCK BY LIGHTNING is a heartfelt charmer (which means, bring tissues, especially knowing that “[Colfer’s] mom cries hysterically every time she sees it.”). Refreshing opening with the death of its main character courtesy of being struck by lightning, Colfer’s Carson Phillips, the narrative is told in flashback affording some delicious tongue-in-cheek satiric moments thanks to Colfer’s vocal inflections.

A superlative cast is led by Chris Colfer himself. As Carson, he explodes with energy, passion and likeability. You feel Carson’s anger and frustration which he internalizes and turns into outward freneticism and driving focus. Rebel Wilson proves once again why she is a person to watch and why she is the next cinematic sensation. Her subtle fish-out-of-water demeanor that she brings to Malerie bubbles below the surface as Malerie tries to navigate the waters of high school and being “an outcast” while knowing herself to really be the cool one with everyone else lagging behind her and her insight.

The rest of the high school classmates are all not only perfectly rendered and performed as representative of every “type” of person you encounter in high school, but each is crafted as being a necessary spoke in the wheel of the story – and high school. Leading the charge is Sarah Hyland who is deliciously and vainly arrogant as cheerleader Claire Matthews. Joining Hyland in high school hijinks are Robbie Amell, Ashley Rickards, Matt Prokop and Carter Jenkins, among others. Every character and performance is equally well drawn and resonate elements within us all.

As Carson’s mother Sheryl, Allison Janney amazes with her patented smart alecky, hard core persona that we see grow and arc as the story progresses. Unfortunately for Sheryl, however, that growth comes too late and she is ultimately forced to forever live with unredeemable regret, just like all of Carson’s classmates and his father Neal. When it comes to Neal, Dermot Mulrooney is just a delicious ass. It is this “assholiness” though which adds the pages to Sheryl’s book of misery as we go from seeing a pathetic drunk pill-popping loser of a mother for whom we have no sympathy or empathy, to a woman whose veneer starts to crack and chip, letting us see what helped make her the disaster before us. Wonderful structure. Janney is a whirlwind of emotion be it going toe-toe-toe with Colfer’s Carson, Mulrooney or Christina Hendricks who is a delight as Neal’s pregnant fiancé, April.

Head HERE to read more of Debbie’s review of Struck by Lightning!