During a Q&A with Colfer that followed a recent preview of Struck by Lightning, Colfer said he was motivated to write the script for the film because he was "so pissed in high school." Struck by Lightning plays as though it’s Colfer’s effort to get back at those who wronged him during his teenage years. Watching someone else’s attempt to settle old scores—and to do so through criminal means (blackmail)—doesn’t exactly make for a fun time at the cinema.

At least the film isn’t a total waste of time, given the fine performances from Hendrix and its older cast members. Had its screenwriter been more grown up, Struck by Lightning might have risen above the self-centered high-school revenge fantasy that it is. Instead, it’s the sort of it’s-all-about-me indulgence one might expect from a high-school student. Perhaps with a few more years and a little distance from the emotional scars of his high-school years, Colfer will write something of more consequence than Struck by Lightning. I suggest waiting for that film and skipping this one.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; mom and son say they hate each other; the “f” word; racial stereotypes; various curse words
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: Mom drinks wine in several scenes, and she smokes; prescription drugs are taken and recommended; bag of weed; drugs used as part of blackmail scheme; Carson tells his mom he’s “wasted”
  • Sex/Nudity: Most of the country’s founding fathers are said to have been closeted homosexuals; a boy brags that he sleeps with girls and makes crude verbal references to sex; reference to a sex tape; a boy pulls up his shirt to reveal his chest; several bare-chested men in a locker room; jokes about venereal disease; two boys in a bathroom stall get physical; we hear kissing noises but see only their feet and ankles below the stall door; article refers to a small-town sex scandal; gesture implying oral sex; crude reference to the Clinton presidency; a young couple makes out; accusation that a teacher is having sex with a student; everyone is said to go to Motel 6 after prom; spoken assumption that a girl is sexually promiscuous; a student pretends to speak Spanish to get women to sleep with him
  • Violence/Crime: Carson is struck by lightning and dies; a crack about putting someone to sleep like an animal; mom says she wishes she’d aborted Carson; joking comparison to the Holocaust; Carson blackmails students to get them to write for his magazine
  • MarriageCarson’s dad leaves when he’s young, and he sees his father walk out on his mother; a divorce; advice to never have a kid to save a marriage; a pharmacist is engaged and pregnant
  • Religion: Mom says, “If anyone asks, we’re Jewish”; Carson expresses antipathy toward students who embrace Creationism; a student says God has blessed her with her complexion, and with great table tennis skills

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.

Publication date: January 11, 2013