Rick, still in his 30's, works full-time as a lifeguard on the beaches of Los Angeles. When he meets his divorced high school girlfriend and her five-year-old son at their fifteen years, he considers switching to a more "serious" job.
Rick is in his 30s, but still works full-time as a lifeguard on the beaches of Los Angeles, California. He enjoys the fun of it, but even more, the silent moments. However, when he meets his divorced high school girlfriend and her five-year-old son at their fifteen year class reunion, he considers switching to a more "serious" job.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
A rather astute look at beach life in 1970's Southern California
Saw this when it came out and, though I never had the leisure to share as much beach time as some of the characters in this film, I did know some of the surf-and-sand denizens of the beaches from Malibu south to San Diego back in the 1970's. I thought this film was a not inaccurate glimpse of what that sun-kissed lifestyle was all about. Sam Elliott was well cast as a lifeguard a few years older than the average athlete who perched on those observation stations, looking out at the Pacific's frequently treacherous waves. He looked the part and had the depth needed to make his character's less-than-monumental struggles to come to grips with his life and his career choice about as convincing as any actor probably could.
With some fallow periods in the years since, Sam has continued to work quite steadily, though I've often wished he wasn't so often confined to Western roles. (What would he have done without Ted Turner and TNT and all those made-for-TV Western sagas?) With that distinctively macho growl of his, there's no mistaking who's doing a voice-over for one of the commercials he's done. I've always felt that his speaking voice has been his unique asset as an actor, not to mention the awesome mustache he frequently sports. "Lifeguard" is worth a look if you want a glimpse of southern California before it became impossibly overcrowded and overbuilt...when it was still a semi-paradise for the young and feckless.
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