Ambitious high school senior Carson Philips is bent on escaping his narrow-minded hometown for college. His last few weeks of school unwind in flashback — until the fateful day when lightning strikes.
Carson Philips pretty much hates everything except the idea of heading to Northwestern to start his career in journalism. When his high school counselor suggests that starting a literary magazine might strengthen his college application, he decides to blackmail his fellow students into submitting pieces. Meanwhile, his pill-addicted mother is faced with the return to town of Carson’s father, along with his new (and much younger) wife.
Um, who ISN’T in this movie? The cast is seriously impressive, and their combined starpower is what elevates this movie from blah to… not bad!
Chris Colfer as Carson
Chris Colfer wrote this film, and given his age, I’m impressed. With that said, I’m not a huge Chris Colfer fan. He’s great at making catty comments, but he doesn’t really incite affection, and his character in this film is pretty hateful. Fortunately for Colfer, he got a ton of people I *do* love to be in his movie.
Rebel Wilson as Malerie Baggs
Rebel Wilson plays a toned down version of her usual character, and since I love her usual character, I was happy with this choice. Malerie is straight up weird in the best way possible (for example, she is fluent in both Celtic and Elvish), and I found her to be the most likeable person in the film.
Allison Janney as Sheryl Phillips
ALLISON JANNEY, LIGHT OF MY LIFE. Janney plays Carson’s super terrible mom, and if it was any other actress, I would have felt bad for Carson. But hello, having Allison Janney as your mom, even if she’s addicted to pills and talks about how she should have gotten that abortion, is totally awesome.
Christina Hendricks as April
It was refreshing to see Christina Hendricks in a “regular gal” role. As April, the woman engaged to Carson’s dad (played by Dermot Mulroney, btw), Hendricks is sweet, with surprising depth.
Ken Marino as Dr. Wealer
I LOVE YOU KEN MARINO. He’s only in this movie for a few minutes, but those few minutes were totally the best part (especially since Allison Janney shares the scene).
Angela Kinsey as the Counselor
As a longtime fan of The Office, it’s weird for me to see Angela Kinsey play someone who isn’t, you know, Angela. I kept looking around her office for the “Cats in Costume” calendar. She’s pretty great as the bumbling and totally obtuse high school counselor.
Ashley Rickards as Vicki Jordan
Ashley Rickards plays Vicki, the goth girl. And let me tell you, she totally rocks the black lipstick.
Sarah Hyland as Claire Mathews
FYA casting fave Sarah Hyland shows up as Claire Mathews, the most popular girl in school. What’s funny is that she’s not nearly as bitchy as Carson is.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Low
This movie is entertaining, but it’s not at the level where you end up laughing uproariously with your friends and then rewinding a scene to watch it again.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Medium
I was two glasses of wine in when I started this movie, which meant I was more receptive to the jokes and more captivated by the colorful cast. I’m sure this film is still amusing if you’re sober, but I do think a bit of alcohol helps. (It always does!)
Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Your Money’s Worth
Look, Netflix is cheap. If you think about dividing the cost between the movies/shows that you watch, we’re looking at anywhere from 25 cents to two dollars as the cost for viewing Struck by Lightning. Based on that math, you get your money’s worth. Sure, it’s not as funny as I hoped it would be, and it moves a little slow, but the cast is fantastic, and I’m always a sucker for high school movies. Plus, I would literally pay a dollar just to see that one scene between Allison Janney and Ken Marino because it is THAT good.