98 Min | Drama-Romance | August 2013
IMDB Rating: 5.5
Director: Liz W. Garcia
Starring: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr
The Lifeguard Review: When I first saw the trailer for The Lifeguard, I was drawn in by Kristen Bell’s character Leigh’s lines, “I am allowed to be confused and stumble once in a while,” which highlights a place that everyone finds themselves in at one point in their lives.
While living in New York, Leigh lets her work override her life, completely ignoring the sordidness of her relationships and being in denial about her situation. Her decision to return to her hometown forces shifts between her parents and her friends, creating divides, that she is (for the most part) oblivious to. Her decision to return to the position to a life guard seems to revolve around the idea of reliving the ideal job, however, once she starts hanging around a bunch of misfit teenagers, she transcends back into her past. The relationship she develops with ‘Little Jason’ is the most complex element of the film, as it alludes to so many different things. There a sense of romance, lust and a maternal nature that left me feeling ambivalent. However, I did recognize that there was definitely love there, which is something very few people have mentioned in their reviews. The other struggling being is that since first seeing Kristen Bell on Veronica Mars I still see her as a teenager.
On first glance its hard to identify with Leigh, you see her as a distraught, downtrodden member of the corporate world, who is hiding behind the allure of yester-year. As time goes on, its easy to recognize that Leigh’s plunge down the rabbit hole is a result of not wanting to accept the reality around her – or remove this idealistic memories she has of her youth.
Personally, I believe it is Kristen Bell’s relationship with David Lambert’s character that make The Lifeguard. But also leave you with unanswered questions. The Lifeguard deserves to be watched; but also considered from various different angles.
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