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The Lifeguard (2013)

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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.


Liz W. Garcia


Liz W. Garcia
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristen Bell ... Leigh
Mamie Gummer ... Mel
Martin Starr ... Todd
Alex Shaffer ... Matt
Joshua Harto ... John
David Lambert ... Little Jason
Amy Madigan ... Justine
Adam LeFevre ... Hans (as Adam Lefevre)
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


29-year-old Leigh is on leave from her job in New York City after feeling a sense of emptiness and sadness in her life. Leigh has returned to her parents' home, to her high school job as a lifeguard and to her high school friends still in town. But Leigh continues to struggle in finding happiness since her parents don't approve and she's bullied by local kids at the pool. Leigh finds an almost like kindred spirit in high school student Little Jason; but when their friendship turns into an illicit relationship, her friends don't approve and even more tragedy awaits Leigh in her personal journey towards happiness. Written by Anne Campbell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This Summer Growing Up is Optional


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, brief graphic nudity, drug use, language and a disturbing image - some involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

30 July 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Salva-vidas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Leigh receives a postcard that is addressed to her at "433 E. 31st St" in New York City. That address no longer exists - that entire neighborhood was cleared in 1945-6 to make room for the New York University Medical Center, which occupies that spot to this day. See more »


Near the end of the movie, Leigh receives a postcard from Jason. Although there is a faint hint of a cancellation stamp, there is no POSTNET bar code at the bottom right of the card. Obviously, this postcard never actually went through the mail. See more »


Mel: Do you really think that I could be a mother? Cause I don't know.
John: You are a little out of control. And you're a pervert.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the last credits, a photo of Leigh is shown from when she was a lifeguard during her high school period. See more »


Back to the Start
Written by Amanda Butterworth (as A. Butterworth), Antoine 'Chab' Chabert (as A. Chabert), Michel Nassif (as M. Nassif)
Performed by Cocosuma
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

What a movie!
24 September 2013 | by Adriano_GallianiSee all my reviews

I'm voting 10, solely to bring the points up, but movie isn't that great. Its around 8 at its best. But, come on, 5.5?!!

On the other hand, this is one though, SOB kinda movie. Its really hard to understand, and hard to love it. We less fortunate - we dig it and we dig it deep and completely. True beauty of this flick is in the "wholesomeness" of the Big Picture - and it seems too heavy for most American viewers to understand it. Yeah, there is age difference, but thats completely out of the point. I myself was in the similar position not that long time ago and we weren't the friends :D Thats why I could see some of the masters work by Bell - her face when Little Jason is starting his story. It goes from focusing attention to smile, but that is one really specific smile - it comes from the heart.

Let me tell you - Kristen Bell is pure magic. She already had me in Veronica Mars, but this is much better. Shes magnificent artist and now I understand why she done this movie. It fits her really well.

Also, writing is really original - no big "turnover", no "comeback", not a f***n happy ending - it ends but end is not really an end. You're left with a though of love between Leigh and Jayson, but with a kind of hope.

Like I said, most Americans defines their relationship as "statuary rape" and have a panic attack when movie didn't teach us that their this were wrong. Well, this is obviously a hard thing to swallow. Judgment is left to us, the viewers. If you need a frikin confirmation of yours beliefs, what kind of beliefs are those? ofc its immoral, questionable, unfair to the younger partner, but that was a love on a first sight.

I was really depressed in the end, especially cause I expected from the poster for this movie to be some kind of mindless fun with Veronica Mars. Hot blonde, bathing suite, underage teenagers.. Lets rock'n'roll! Lets push the boundaries really far, far away.. And this movie did it - it awakens true feelings and some painful memories and its REAL. Unlike most hollywoodesque garbage nowdays with utter boring scripts, this one feels like real life. Its ART. Its not "best movie of our times", there are a lot of flaws, but its much closer to the ART than all the Batmans in this cruel world.

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