Friday, May 31, 2013

'Struck By Lightning': No, Seriously. Someone Kill Me.

There is a difference between unsympathetic characters and unlikable characters.  It seems that Chris Colfer doesn't know the difference.  His character in Struck by Lightning, Carson Phillips, is one of the most arrogant, petulant characters I've ever seen in a movie.

Carson is desperate to get into Northwestern University after he graduates, so he can become the youngest editor of The New Yorker.  He basically wants to be the youngest person to conquer the editorial world probably because he wants to shove that fact in everyone's faces.  Carson's parents (Allison Janney and Dermot Mulroney) separated when Carson was younger, and he he sought solace in writing.  Can Janney please get offered something other than a humorous mother?  She's great at it, and I love that she constantly gets work, but give her a lead in something!  Come on!!!

Gotta find a better movie...

Carson's guidance counselor tells him that Northwestern won't accept him with just extracurricular activites on his application, so he sets his sights on producing a literary magazine.  The writing club that Carson heads only has one other devout member and that is Malerie Baggs (a painfully underused Rebel Wilson), a quiet girl who totes a video camera around and films everything.  Like Ricky Fitts from American Beauty without the cred or caterpillar eyebrows. 

Instead of nicely asking people if they would like submit something to the literary magazine, Carson blackmails all the popular kids because he knows all their dirty little secrets.  The flamboyant drama stud is banging a popular rich kid.  The high school gym teacher/football coach is scoring with the head cheerleader (Modern Family's Sarah Hyland).  He demands a literary submission from everyone in exchange for his silence.  He then makes a deal with his mother so she funds his little project.  Carson's mother tells him that she thinks he should be on medication (after admitting that she drugged him ADHD meds while he was younger), and he willingly goes back on the drugs if she gives him the money to publish his magazine. 

The problem with the movie is that Carson is a little twat.  Not a delightfully cynical teen, but a full-blown dickhead.  He talks down to people, and he screams like a whining baby when he doesn't get his way.  I think Colfer is adorable, and he's a good little actor, but the only one who comes out of this movie unscathed is Allison Janney.  She's an unlikable character, but she's interesting and I believe her character's motivations.  I don't like them, but she does a good job.  The movie tries to teach you to seize the day, but all it made me want to do was punch Kurt Hummel in the junk.

At the beginning of the movie, Carson gets struck by lightning and dies (not a spoiler, it's the first scene--get over yourself!).  He narrates the rest of the flick for us, but, I'm sorry, I didn't need him to tell me his story. 

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