Mary Poppins Returns
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (31)
| Top Critics (13)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (26)
"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.
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.
The Lifeguard is not groundbreaking cinema or a heavy-handed story, but it succeeds in showcasing great performances from its actors.
Drama is short on story, long on illicit romance.
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
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.
The central character, Leigh (Bell), is a selfish, disgusting, pedophilic person whose narrative isn't all that interesting or valid. She says she's lost in her life and needs to be grounded in her childhood job and home, but instead of finding herself, she simply gives up her life in the city because she's thoughtless. It's fine to misstep and take time off, but she doesn't come home to reflect and get along with her parents. Contrary to this supposed storyline, Leigh disrespects her parents, takes up with a sixteen year old kid, drags her friends into her wormhole of horribleness, and acts out like a teenager. The entire film is gross in its lovelorn depictions of the affair between Leigh and a teenager (Lambert), who she manipulates throughout the course of the film. She nearly ruins her friend's (Gummer) marriage and makes her other friend (Starr) feel like a horrible human being. The ending doesn't have Leigh understand her missteps and rectify the situation, but abandon her victims and flee elsewhere. This is a seriously screwed up film, if indeed it's trying to make the main character seem emotionally sound.
Kristen Bell headlines the deplorable indie film The Lifeguard. A depressed and disaffected New York City reporter returns to her home town where she reverts back to her delinquent ways and has an affair with a high school student. The plot just meanders aimlessly from cliche to cliche without any point. And, the characters aren't very likable or interesting. The acting us also especially weak; even Bell gives a phoned in performance. The Lifeguard is an insipid and inane piece of tripe that hints at a moral, but never gets around to it.
This Summer Growing Up is Optional.
Good movie! The film is only exiting and exhilarating if you know before hand what Statutory Rape is and what are the consequences if you were to engage in this illicit act. In Connecticut, the legal consequence for statutory rape is prison for 10 to 20 years. Here in Florida is even worse. It means to be a registered as a sex offender for the rest of your life and not being able to live within a 3 mile radius of a High School, park or where children play. To find a place like that here in South Florida, you would have to move under a Highway and close to the Everglades swamps. Though a decidedly darker film than one would expect, tragic moments are often interrupted by a certain lightness that, in the film's conclusion, allows the audience to hope for our protagonists' future. This is definitely a film worth watching, if simply for the experience of becoming invested in this deeply character-driven story.
A former valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns to the place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a troubled teenager.
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