The Lifeguard (2013)
Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 26
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 9
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 4,838
Leigh, almost 30, is living a seemingly perfect life in New York. But when her career and love life both come crashing down, she flees to her suburban hometown and regresses right back into high school life. Picking up right where her teen halcyon days left off, she moves into her old room with her parents, hangs out with friends who never left town, and reclaims her high school job as a condo-complex lifeguard. But as Leigh enjoys shirking off adult life and responsibilities, and enters into an
Aug 30, 2013 Limited
Oct 8, 2013
Screen Media Films - Official Site
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Adam Le Fevre
Lisa Ann Goldsmith
Scrappy Kid - Aaron
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Although writer-director Liz W. Garcia's wistful, angsty tale treads familiar ground, the filmmaker has crafted a credibly flawed and conflicted heroine who holds interest.
The central character simply comes across as whiny and entitled instead of troubled and dark, and the central theme of getting your groove back by acting like a kid again has been done many times by much more talented filmmakers.
The movie really depends on Bell, and her story, and neither is interesting or compelling enough to engage us.
This directorial debut by Liz W. Garcia, a writer for television, bears some echoes of its creator's origins, going from deft to trite in its drama and setting up character arcs that feel sappily resolved within its feature length.
The movie's being billed in some quarters as a comedy, which is a hell of a stretch given that the plot expands to take in statutory rape and teen suicide.
This sorrowful, achingly wise little drama has a lot to say about the dangers of hanging on to youth at all costs.
A strikingly realistic approach lifts this comedy-drama above the fray, combining skilful writing and direction with transparent performances that reveal the characters' internal struggles.
The writer/director stifles any actual feeling with thudding, heavily-underlined subtext-as-text dialogue and an overreliance on indie rock scored musical montages
"The Lifeguard" is hemmed in by vagueness and cliche, and nearly ruined by its soundtrack, an insistent barrage of thematically obvious alt-radio music cues.
With apologies to Thomas Wolfe, you can go home again; The Lifeguard just proves that sometimes it's not the best course of action.
The film strains to be hip and edgy in its exploration of catharsis through starting over, and its central relationship feels more contrived than authentic.
Solid performances can't save the undercooked, shallow, overly simplistic screenplay.
Bell gives a strong performance, eschewing her own perky persona to navigate the melancholia, but the script's conclusion fails to go as deep as the heavy lead-in requires.
Apparently it's hard to be a grownup in today's crazy world without committing consequence-free statutory rape. Ugh.
Like its lead character, The Lifeguard is stuck in a rut. After establishing Bell's frustration within the first five minutes, the movie continually reiterates it.
Rather than feeling as though we're emotionally connected to [the lead character] during her descent, we're all too aware of the machinations of the screenplay, struggling to find ways to sink her and then bring her back up.
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