4 items from 2013
In The Lifeguard, Kristen Bell plays a woman on the verge of 30 who has a meltdown, quits her reporter job in New York, then heads back to her hometown for some peace and quiet. But that escapism comes at price — from her parents’ short-lived appreciation of her homecoming, to her reconnecting with old friends who’ve changed (including best friend Mel, played by Mamie Gummer), to ultimately the titular summer job that defines her new life in the sleepy suburb.
The film is dark and shows a different side of the bubbly Bell. In the exclusive clip below, we see »
- Laura Hertzfeld
Title: The Lifeguard Director: Liz W. Garcia Starring: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, David Lambert, Alex Shaffer, Joshua Harto, John Finn, Paulie Litt, Adam Lefevre, Amy Madigan The seriocomic feature film debut of television director Liz W. Garcia, “The Lifeguard” offers up a contrived series of precious posed moments in telling the story of a young career woman who moves back home in an effort to shake off a low-lying cloud of personal and professional ambivalence. In her starring role, Kristen Bell delivers a charming, engaging performance, but the much sharper take on this same sort of thirtysomething ennui (even though Bell’s character is quick to point out that [ Read More ]
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Previously reviewed as part of JoBlo.com's Sundance 2013 coverage. Plot: Leigh (Kristen Bell) is an NYC journalist going through a crisis. She abandons her job, and heads back to her hometown, where she moves in with her parents (Amy Madigan & Adam LeFevre), and reconnects with her childhood friends (Martin Starr & Mamie Gummer). In a bid to recapture her youth, she takes her old high-school lifeguard job, and starts a flirtation with a local teenager (David Lambert). Review »
- Chris Bumbray
Sink or Swim: Garcia’s Debut a Glossy Derivative
Though featuring a handful of winning performances from an extremely likeable cast, writer/director Liz W. Garcia’s debut, The Lifeguard, is about as original and realistic as its metaphorical title is gauntly vague. Best known as a writer on that late 90s television series you may be familiar with, “Dawson’s Creek,” Garcia’s feature plays like a logical extension of her teen characters from over a decade ago, examining familiar themes of nostalgia in overtly familiar ways. Innately, we all seem to know that one can’t go home again, which doesn’t stop humans from doggedly attempting to recreate the past or filmmakers from mining the scenario for dramatic possibilities.
About to turn 30 and disappointed with her life in New York City, Leigh (Kristen Bell), seems to have prematurely reached her mid-life crisis. Romantically entangled with her married boss, »
- Nicholas Bell
4 items from 2013
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