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The Lifeguard

2013

R CC

From Focus World & Screen Media, a 29 year old (Kristen Bell) reverts to teenage behavior when she flees back to her suburban hometown.

Starring:
Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer
Runtime:
1 hour, 38 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Liz W. Garcia
Starring Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer
Supporting actors Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Joshua Harto, David Lambert, Amy Madigan, Adam LeFevre, John Finn, Paulie Litt, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Mike Landry, Tom Kondilas, Carlos Velazquez, Lisa Ann Goldsmith, Anthony Marino, Debbie College, Marty Landry, Royce Hearn, Fabio Polanco
Studio Focus Features
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Things happen, keep moving or die." Leigh (Bell) is a reporter working for a paper in New York. After writing an article she is passionate about she quits when it won't get published and ends up moving back home. While she is trying to make sense of her life she gets a job as a lifeguard and reconnects with her parents and her old friends. Leigh learns the meaning of 'you can't go home again'. There is a saying you can't judge a book by its cover, after watching this one it should also be applied to movies. Going off the cover I expected a nice light comedy with Kristin Bell playing her usual character. I got the exact opposite. The movie is a heavy drama with very real issues. After moving home she finds that her friends are not who they once were and neither are her parents. She begins a romance with an underage boy at the place where she works which has repercussions for everyone. This is nothing like I expected but I did really like it much more then I expected. Overall, a different movie and role for Bell but it works. Depressing but good. I say B+.
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Format: Amazon Video
I've got no experience with Veronica Mars, but I can see why people like Kristen Bell. She's real and relatable, as are all of the characters in this film.

At age 29, with her life in the city more disheartening and less complete than she ever expected, Kristen Bell's Leigh heads back home, where her two best friends (Mammie Gummer of The Good Wife and the familiar Martin Starr of Freaks and Geeks and about a million other comedies) are leading lives equally unperfected. During her aimless summer in her home town, she crosses paths with the local drop-outs, played sensitively and convincingly by a trio of young actors, including recently discovered teen actor Alex Shaffer of the Paul Giamatti film Win, Win, in a supporting role. Youthful indiscretions can't really cohabit with adult responsibilities, and the dramatic tension is ratcheted-up (if also resolved fairly easily) in sincere ways.

Nice production and a convincing story of early middle-age indecision with nuanced acting by a strong cast of recognizable faces adds up to a satisfying film.
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Format: Amazon Video
This is an indie film about life without much plot. Leigh London (Kristen Bell) is an AP reporter who has become depressed with life. She wrote a story about a chained tiger cub living in the city apartment that dies. She sees herself in this role, as well as just about everyone else in the film fits the metaphor. People view themselves as developing while everyone else sees them as screw-ups.

Leigh moves back with her parents, and mom (Amy Madigan) would rather not have her there. She hangs out with old friends; Todd (Martin Starr) a gay art dealer and Mel (Mamie Gummer) who is now the vice principal. Mel's life is in a rut, her husband (Joshua Harto) doesn't fit in because he is too straight. Leigh becomes a lifeguard at the local apartment complex, however like the tiger, the title has a two-fold meaning.

The story slips into taboo areas such as smoking pot with minors...and having sex with them. There are lines that are crossed, i.e. "they are screw-ups" or the less family friendly phrase, but they don't see themselves as that because the transition is smooth and natural. The film is about how life and people are the same all over (except for Vermont).

Clearly this film is not for everyone. It opens like a Lifetime film with raindrops symbolizing sadness. It evolves into a film which would make you embarrassed to watch it with your kids. Indie lovers only, please.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, male nudity. Drug use.
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Format: Amazon Video
I must admit it took me a while to truly process this movie. I absolutely adore Kristen Bell, so I will pretty much watch anything she's in. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the guy who plays Brandon on the Fosters, which quickly became a favorite of mine. Anyway, when I watched this a couple of weeks ago, my conclusion was that the movie was okay. It left me feeling kind of sad and very confused, and I assumed that was due to flaws of the movie. Looking back now, I think that was kind of their intention. I think I was feeling a lot of what Lee felt. What I love about indie movies is that they are typically more unpredictable, awkward, messy and real. There's no glam. Things can be ugly. Some indie films take it too far and alienate a lot of people, which this film may do, but overall I feel it's an honest story of someone completely losing their sense of self, and in turn reverting back to what they know.

Also I think the issue of a romantic relationship between a 16 year old and a 29 year old should be addressed. I've read outlandish comments on IMDB and so on that this movie condones pedophilia, which is absolutely ridiculous. First of all, pedophilia is an attraction to prepubescent children, not adolescents. Physically, adolescents and adults are very much the same, it's simply a matter of mental capacity for good decision making and impulse control that makes it ethically questionable to engage in a sexual act. It isn't like Lee was sexually attracted to an 8 year old boy or something, so statutory rape, yes. Pedophilia, no. Also, while I absolutely wouldn't condone this type of thing happening in real life, I think cinematically, the emotional side of their relationship was very helpful to both of them for the time being.

Overall, I liked this movie, and wouldn't be opposed to watching it again, even though it does have some very heavy subject matter. Kristen Bell is an amazing actress and she showed a lot of depth in this.
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