As is often the case in Hollywood, gay actors tend to get pigeonholed into playing gay roles, but if his new film, Struck by Lightning, is any indication, Colfer is refusing to be put into a box. Not only does he star in the film, but he wrote the screenplay as well, showcasing a previously unseen side of the actor that cements him as a creative force to be reckoned with.
There is a wry quality to Colfer's writing that is reminiscent of Tina Fey. While the film's fledgling distributor, Tribeca Film, doesn't have the same resources for a wide release as the major studios, it's easy to see Struck by Lightning becoming a word of mouth hit on DVD as the next Mean Girls.
|Rebel Wilson and Chris Colfer in “Struck by Lighting” distributed by Tribeca Film.|
Photo courtesy of Tribeca Film.
Motivating his decidedly un-motivated peers, however, proves to be much easier said than done. But after discovering one of the school's most popular guys in a bathroom stall with the president of the drama club, Carson discovers his path to success - blackmail. Armed with dirt on almost the entire school, Carson starts putting together a literary magazine filled with the hopes and dreams of the entire student body - a task that will ultimately prove to be his greatest success, or his complete undoing.
|Chris Colfer in "Struck by Lighting" distributed by Tribeca Film.|
Photo Credit Suzanne Houchin.
There are certainly familiar elements at play here, but what makes the film such a breath of fresh air is how refreshingly not self absorbed it is. Colfer's writing displays a confidence that eschews the navel gazing irony that is so typical of his generation. The result is a completely winning film, the kind of smartly written indie comedy that so rarely separates itself from the self consciously quirky pack. Struck by Lightning is a film with genuine heart that has the potential to garner a new cult following. And as for Colfer, he's no longer just a talent to watch in front of the camera, but an imposing creative force behind it as well. There's clearly more to him than just "the kid from Glee."
GRADE - ★★★ (out of four)
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING | Directed by Brian Dannelly | Stars Chris Colfer, Rebel Wilson, Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks, Sarah Hyland | Not rated | Opens Friday, 1/11, in select cities.