Chris Colfer (Glee) makes his screenwriting debut with Struck by Lightning, a satirical comedy about surviving high school. The film is directed by Brian Dannelly (Saved) and Colfer stars opposite a talented cast including Allison Janney (The Help), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Dermot Mulroney (J. Edgar), and Sarah Highland (Modern Family). PPLA attended the world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
This coming of age comedy literally opens with a bang when seventeen year old Carson Phillips (Colfer) is struck by a bolt of lightning. The incident is the spark to a wickidly funny story about a young man who devises a blackmailing scheme to improve his chances of getting accepted into a top college…but what he accomplishes is much more profound.
At the age of sixteen, Chris Colfer was a high school student- and not just playing one on the hit tv series Glee. He wanted to write a screenplay and began developing characters for his story. In his junior year, he turned the idea into an Original Prose and Poetry (OPP) for a Speech and Debate event where he played every character in the ten-minute. piece.
Now five years later, Colfer’s speech and debate coach, Mikendra McCoy was asked to be involved with this project. Colfer credit’s McCoy with getting him through high school. “I made her come out and play the Science teacher in the film because she was my savior,” said Colfer. “She had to be a part of it, beause she was there when it all started with my old Speech and Debate OPP.”
Colfer developed a full script and created the characters to represent many of the same people everyone comes across throughout their high school years. “This is not autobiographical at all though,” says Colfer, “I think the only similarity is that I was President of a writer’s club in high school and dealt with a lot of the crap that Carson deals with in this movie. Carson always spoke his mind and spoke against his peers. He never let anyone walk all over him. I was the exact opposite.”
This refreshingly authentic comedy is sure to keep you laughing. The chemistry among the cast was excellent, and I predict several awards for Allison Janney’s witty but troubled performance as Carson’s (Colfer) mom.
View the trailer here.