Let’s say you walked into a room full of Glee fans and told them that the show’s one and only Chris Colfer—the multitalented actor and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People—had a film coming out. Not only does Colfer star in it, he also wrote it. Oh, and the movie takes place in a high school—not one in which the students warble Journey tunes at the drop of a glittery hat, but still. The air would be filled with the sound of cars peeling out of driveways, as his devotees (the ones actually old enough to drive, mind you) and their Colfer-curious friends rushed to check out this opus as soon as humanly possible.
Now imagine that you peek in on these same folks as they watch this story about a smart, ambitious but stifled student who’s immediately killed by a freak act of nature—see title—and posthumously recounts how everyone on campus despised him. If they’re totally unfamiliar with the Heathers school of pitch-black teen satire, they may think the character’s plan to blackmail students to join his literary magazine is, like, edgy. They’ll fidget as a host of other actors, from Bachelorette’s Rebel Wilson to Allison Janney, try to add something resembling actual comedy or drama to the mix, only to be undermined by so much half-baked pathos and so many DOA barbs (“I hate you more than I hate the Holocaust!”). Then observe as all but the hard-core Colferphiles slink out embarrassed, feeling as confused and discombobulated as if they too just took an electric bolt to the brain.
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