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Hit By Lightning (2014)
While Hit By Lightning isn't set up with memorably side-splitting laughs or over-the-top physical comedy, writer Ricky's (Blitt's, not Cryer's) fairly familiar premise does cleverly deliver a steady pace of wonderfully glib one-liners and bubbly macabre humour that keeps a paying audience tuned in and chuckling along on this ride. Cryer brings a far less cartoony version of his Two And A Half Men TV persona to this big screen starring role, as a likeably neurotic, sappy straight man. Supported by Sasso's hugely boyish wing man shtick and Szostak's delicately measured on-screen wit, Cryer's performance is a bright delight here.
Speaking as a resident of Ottawa, Canada, it's also funny seeing my hometown stand in for Downtown LA in this feature. Hollywood bling in the Byward Market. Not too shabby, eh.
Moping over having better odds of being hit by lightning than finding his soul mate at 40, Ricky's new elation over having dreamy and perfect Danita in his life tilts sideways when she tearfully admits she wants him to free her from her miserable nine-year marriage to monstrous millionaire Ben. Killing Ben, Danita explains, is the only way she and Ricky can continue being together. Flabbergasted, Seth forces Ricky to watch the 1981 femme fatale classic Body Heat, suspicious his love-blinded buddy is being played like William Hurt was manipulated by Kathleen Turner in that film, "back when she looked like a chick."
Canadian-born Sasso is consistently irreverent throughout, effortlessly stealing every scene with funny dopey dialogue and goofy facial expressions. "She's über movie star hot," gasps Seth, dubious at first sight of Danita's interest in Ricky, then asking him, "Is she crazy? Can she see out of both eyes?" The comedic connection between Cryer and Sasso is pure addictive magic, particularly when cinematographer Arthur E. Cooper wisely captures their rapid-fire banter in unedited takes. Also a perfect casting choice, Stephanie Szostak strikes an impressively careful balance with her role as Cryer's softly quirky contemporary love interest who may or may not be all she appears to be. Good stuff.
Hit By Lightning is an enjoyably light and charming, fun romantic comedy that's absolutely well worth checking out for Ricky Blitt's wonderfully wry screenplay and the thoroughly impressive performances from Jon Cryer and co-stars Will Sasso and Stephanie Szostak. Hopefully this local crowd-pleaser gets a sequel. Reviewed 11/14, © Stephen Bourne, moviequips.ca.
Hit By Lightning is rated 14A
by the Ontario Film Review Board, citing coarse language, sexual
references, embracing and kissing, mild sexual innuendo, and
restrained portrayals of limited violence, and is rated G by
la Régie du Cinéma in Québec.
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