“Glee” thesp Chris Colfer plays another precociously creative and snark-slinging high schooler in “Struck by Lightning,” a mediocre coming-of-age indie written, “Running With Scissors”-style, by the young actor. Beginning with the titular demise of Colfer’s extracurricularly overextended teen, who narrates a film-long flashback from beyond the grave, the mostly limp comedy gets periodically shocked back to life by grownups including Allison Janney as pill-popping Mom, Dermot Mulroney as delinquent Dad and Christina Hendricks as Dad’s knocked-up g.f. Lacking originality and sufficient humor, the pic won’t get the good grades from festgoing gatekeepers that would enable graduation to theatrical.
Stuck in Clover (pop. 9,525), 17-year-old aspiring journalist Carson Phillips (Colfer) eventually hits on a scheme to improve his odds of acceptance into his dream school: He’ll dig up dirt on classmates and blackmail them into writing for the high-school literary mag in order to impress college admissions folks. Alas, these would-be screwball shenanigans appear tired or implausible or both, and there’s not enough satire in the screenplay for director Brian Dannelly to pull off something as edgy as his 2004 indie “Saved!” Tech credits earn a C-plus.