Coming of Age with Chris Colfer

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Written by "Glee" star Chris Colfer, this 2012 dramedy film follows a young man who is struck and killed by lightning, then recounts the way he blackmailed his fellow classmates into contributing to his literary magazine.
Photo Credit: Tribeca Film
January 1st, 2013

Coming of Age with Chris Colfer

Fans of Chris Colfer will not want to miss his latest project. "Struck By Lightning," a coming of age film, premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and will be released in theaters in January of 2013. The main character is high school student, Carson Phillips (Chris Colfer), who, during the opening scene of the film, is struck by lightning and killed in the parking lot of his school. The remainder of the movie is shown in flashback format as Carson tells of the way in which he blackmailed other students into writing for the school literary magazine he edited. That might not be so bad, but Carson's plans included using the contributions as part of his college application and to ultimately assist him on his career path as a successful journalist. Unfortunately for Carson, no one at his school cares. The remainder of the film takes an in-depth look at humanity and the difficulties of the life of a teenager.

There are numerous reasons moviegoers will want to see "Struck By Lightning," but perhaps the biggest reason of all is that the movie serves as Chris Colfer's film debut. Not only is this the first time "Glee" fans will see Chris on the big screen, but he is also very much the star of the film and pulls it off flawlessly. The variety of emotions required by most coming of age films can be a challenge for many actors, but Colfer makes his way through each scene with realistic depth that makes it easy for audiences to relate to his character.

Chris Colfer will definitely be a familiar face, but he is not the only face audiences will be certain to recognize. Sarah Hyland of "Modern Family" as well as Angela Kinsey from "The Office" appear in the movie as well. Dermot Mulroney also makes an appearance in "Struck By Lightning." Also starring in the film are Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Rebel Wilson, and Dianna Argon. Wilson, the Australian comedian and actress who has become well known for comedic roles in films such as "Pitch Perfect" and "Bridesmaids," excels in her role as Malerie. The dynamic she manages to establish as best friend to Carson leads to some of the most poignant moments in "Struck By Lightning."

Not only will audiences recognize many faces in the film's ensemble cast, but there are also many recognizable stereotypes in the film as well. All of the familiar stereotypes that tend to roam the halls of most high schools make an appearance in "Struck By Lightning." The small town of Clover is one that will feel immediately familiar to many viewers.

As most people come to learn during their own transition from childhood to adulthood, things are not always the way they appear. This is a lesson that is handled adeptly in "Struck By Lightning" through the character of Emilio, an exchange student from Spain. While Emilio speaks absolutely no English, the only thing the female population seems to be concerned with are his swoon-worthy good looks. Despite his instant status as a Casanova, not everything is as it seems.

Like many coming of age films, there are dark moments in "Struck By Lightning" that serve to reveal the imperfections of humanity. Even so, this film is still very much a comedy and the entire cast can be counted upon to provide stellar comedic relief. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that all of those exceptional lines were written by none other than Chris Colfer. That's right. Not only is this indie film Chris' movie debut, but it is his screenwriting debut as well.

He may only be twenty-two years old, but with the debut of "Struck By Lightning," Colfer demonstrates a scriptwriting ability that is well beyond his age. The film is filled with plenty of snarky one-liners that will have audiences rolling with laughter, but perhaps even more impressive is Colfer's ability to examine every aspect of the human condition; the good as well as the bad.

According to Colfer, the film is about overachieving high school students who are underappreciated for the achievements they manage to accomplish. This is something that Colfer has stated is all too familiar to him in his own life.

"Struck By Lightning" likely will not be Colfer's last attempt at screenwriting. He has said that creativity is one of the greatest gifts and is something that cannot be ignored.