Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Movie Review: Struck by Lightning

The greatest compliment I can give Struck by Lightning is that I wasn't thinking about Glee at all as I watched it. Obviously like most people, I fell in love with Chris as Kurt on Glee (he was my favorite character by about 10 minutes into the pilot). While I always want to see actors I love succeed in their endeavors, I'm sure I'm not alone in having butterflies in my stomach when they move away from what I fell in love with them in. It can be scary because you know that you're sitting down to watch the moment when you might fall out of love with the actor to a degree and realize you're just in love with a character.

Thankfully, that is not the case here. Chris is a fluid, adept actor. Apart from one brief "Kurt" look in a daydream sequence, you won't be thinking about sequins and show tunes. At all. I'll take a moment here to confess that as a former struggling small town school newspaper editor and writing fanatic myself, I saw a lot of me in Carson. A lot, right down to the absentee dad (who thank god never put me in the position Carson's dad put him in - I lack the grace to have handled it so well). Thankfully I had a mom who always read my work, supported me, and smoothed over a lot of those rough times.

This movie is a downer in a lot of ways. You start the film off knowing you're about to spend an hour and a half falling for a character who is already dead. This isn't a spoiler: the movie opens with him dying. But that doesn't matter, really, because the point is the experience. The point is seeing how easy it is to give up on your dreams and how hard and painful it can be to fight for them - and how much it's worth it. Every single performance is honestly wonderful. Chris Colfer is brilliant (again, I was relieved and pleased and giddy about that), Allison Janney is heartbreaking and messed up and amazing as Carson's mother, Polly Bergen will make you want to call and spend time with grandparents you don't even have, and Rebel Wilson is a total scene stealer (despite not having an American accent totally under her control just yet).

Basically, if you don't mind some sniffles and tears along with your revelations and moments of zen and humor, this movie is entirely worth your time. Hell, to support Chris and company, I vote that you click the link at the top of this puppy and rent it whether that's your cup of tea or not. I walked away from SBL inspired, shaken, and incredibly excited to see what Chris has in store next.
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