×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Lifeguard
     

The Lifeguard

Director: Liz W. Garcia, Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr

Cast: Liz W. Garcia, Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr

 

See All Formats & Editions

A one-time valedictorian on the cusp of 30 returns home to live with her parents and finds the decision having some unexpected repercussions in this drama from first-time writer/director Liz W. Garcia. Leigh (Kristen Bell) is a 29-year-old Associated Press reporter living in the Big Apple, who suddenly experiences massive pangs of

Overview

A one-time valedictorian on the cusp of 30 returns home to live with her parents and finds the decision having some unexpected repercussions in this drama from first-time writer/director Liz W. Garcia. Leigh (Kristen Bell) is a 29-year-old Associated Press reporter living in the Big Apple, who suddenly experiences massive pangs of dissatisfaction. She returns home to the suburbs of Connecticut, and settles back into her childhood room. Before long, Leigh has reclaimed her old job as a lifeguard, and rekindled her friendships with the old pals she once left behind. Leigh's unforeseen regression threatens to be her undoing, however, when she enters into a foolhardy affair with a local teenage boy.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
Liz Garcia's seriocomedy The Lifeguard stars Kristen Bell as Leigh, a 29-year-old Associated Press writer based in Manhattan. In the wake of a story on animal abuse, she suddenly decides to pick up and move back in with her parents, Justine and Hans (Amy Madigan and Adam Le Fevre). In the days that follow, she neglects her editorial post to the point of termination and sinks into a lengthy period of dope and booze-addled lethargy, then resumes her $9/hour high school job as a lifeguard at the local pool and reconnects with several pals from adolescence. These include Mel (Mamie Gummer), now the principal of the local high school, and John (Joshua Harto), a hometown man widely acknowledged as gay but still in the closet. In time, Leigh also becomes sexually involved with a 17-year-old-boy - which threatens to erupt into disaster should everyone find out. This movie fails on several levels. One of its most fundamental errors involves its setup: in abandoning an AP job, without any clear-cut rationale, and drifting into the empty, aimless life of a stoner, Leigh seems not simply lost to herself, but idiotic to us, especially given the recession-stricken economic climate in which this movie is set. She comes across as a complete twit and loses our sympathy from the word go, and we struggle to understand why this is happening and what she's aiming for - neither of which Garcia articulates satisfactorially. As a result, scenes go on and on, without any apparent form, shape, or destination. The film also falls apart on the level of execution: in addition to a wooden performance by Bell, it suffers from ham-handed, clunky dialogue. Whenever Garcia wants to go for a really big laugh, she resorts to having the characters come out with the most vulgar statements she can think of, such as having a child at the pool verbally assault Leigh by demanding that she fellate him, and giving Leigh a colorful comeback: "I'm the ----ing lifeguard, mother----er!." These types of potshots feel desperate and not the slightest bit funny, but more often lazy, and even inexcusable when put into the mouth of a child actor. Nor does Leigh's relationship with the young lover work at all: we have no idea what she learns, or what he learns; it seems to exist merely because it provides an excuse to insert some steamy sex scenes between the two. Taken on their own, they are erotic enough (and Bell is attractive enough) to retain interest, but they add little to the film dramatically beyond pure sensationalism. Compensating for the movie's gaffes, to a surprising degree, is a magnificent supporting performance by Gummer. As a young housewife crumbling inside over her inability to conceive a child with her husband, she creates a character so idiosyncratic, emotionally persuasive, and lived-in, that you wish Garcia had devoted the entire story to her. She's a bright spot in an otherwise dreary morass. To some degree, The Lifeguard is a victim of its own timing: less than a year earlier, the Melanie Lynskey vehicle Hello, I Must Be Going hit theaters, which had a similar premise. Even it wasn't a perfect film, but it benefitted from a far more beautifully and meticulously realized central arc, and a more solid tone, courtesy of its more sympathetic lead charater. A comparison between the two films provdes a gentle reminder that a movie's success depends entirely on the skill of its execution and not on its premise.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/08/2013
UPC:
0814838013282
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
R
Source:
Screen Media
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen, Color]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
42,247

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; Commentary with Kristen Bell & writer/director Liz W. Garcia

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kristen Bell Leigh
Mamie Gummer Mel
Martin Starr Todd
Alex Shaffer Matt
Amy Madigan Justine
Joshua Harto John
David Lambert Little Jason
Adam Le Fevre Hans
John Finn Big Jason
Paulie Litt Lumpy
Sendhil Ramamurthy Raj
Mike Landry Officer Miller
Tom Kondilas Officer Federici
Carlos Velazquez Marco
Lisa Ann Goldsmith Matt's Mom
Anthony Marino Scrappy Kid - Aaron
Debbie College Tabitha

Technical Credits
Liz W. Garcia Director,Producer,Screenwriter
David Ablanalp-Estime Musical Direction/Supervision
Fred Avril Score Composer
Dallas Brennan Executive Producer
Estelle Buzzard Executive Producer
Milan Chakraborty Producer
Jenny Cook Editor
Ryan Dearth Co-producer
Mike Dolan Executive Producer
Chris Gilligan Executive Producer
Brian Hartman Executive Producer
Joshua Harto Producer
Elizabeth Kling Editor
Mike Landry Producer
Isaac Lefevre Co-producer
Ed McWilliams Executive Producer
Diaa Nour Executive Producer
DJ Parmar Executive Producer
John Peters Cinematographer
Kama K. Royz Costumes/Costume Designer
William G. Santor Executive Producer
Gregory P. Shockro Executive Producer
Rabinder Sira Executive Producer
Tim Brown Executive Producer
Chris Trujillo Production Designer
Carlos Velazquez Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Lifeguard
1. Reporting [8:53]
2. Old Friends [7:45]
3. Lifeguard [15:57]
4. Myth of Vermont [16:33]
5. Worried [8:21]
6. Confiding [6:11]
7. Move Out [4:32]
8. Discovered [8:50]
9. Tragedy [16:20]
10. Credits [4:13]

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews