Tarra Matthews Staff Writer
On February 17 the first Canadian screening of the movie, Struck By Lightning in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox; part of The Next Wave Film Festival. Written by, produced by, and starring Chris Colfer, Struck By Lightning is the story of Carson Philips, high school senior who blackmails his peers into writing for his literary magazine in his bid for acceptance to Northwestern University. Unfortunately for Carson, he is struck down by lightning before he is able to achieve any of his dreams.
The cast is full of familiar and popular faces, including Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), Dermot Mulroney, and Allison Janney, amongst other young faces. Director Brian Dannelly was on hand to introduce the film and field questions from the audience about Struck By Lightning and his career as a filmmaker.
This was my first time actually viewing Struck By Lightning (I’m a purist okay? I NEEDED to see it on the big screen of a theatre for the first time). The friends I went with warned me: (who had seen the film) be prepared to laugh hysterically followed by crying uncontrollably. They were not wrong on either count. I absolutely loved Carson’s biting honesty and crude sense of humor. If he and I went to the same school, I feel like we would have been on the same side, constantly fighting the ‘populars’ and biding our time until we could escape and find more like-minded people in the wider world.
That’s not to say that the people of Clover had nothing to teach Carson. Our family and peers shape who we are and throughout the movie Carson’s environment slowly affects him and changes him (I’d like to say for the better).
After the screening there was a Q&A, which can be seen in its entirety, but here are some highlights:
Brian joked about stealing scenes in his works from John Hughes because he draws much inspiration from him.
Struck By Lightning has a Canadian distributor
Brian briefly touched on his road to becoming a writer/director, as a decision he finally made later in his 20s
Brian Dannelly talked about the “Siegfried & Roy” scene and how he thought it was perhaps a little dirty
Brian’s favourite character was the goth girl and her S&M ways
At the very end Brian discusses his future plans (Spoilers: they involved Emma Roberts & Rebel Wilson!)
On the whole, it was a great experience and now that I’ve watched the movie, I can crack the spine on the Struck By Lightning novel and experience everything in a different way!