Sundance Review: The Lifeguard


Director:Liz W. Garcia

Cast:Kristen Bell, David Lambert, Mamie Gummer

Running Time:94 Minutes


The quarter-life crisis. It's something I, along with many of my peers, feel on the verge of at all times. It's something Leigh (Kristen Bell) actually experiences. Overwhelmed with her (pretty damn nice-sounding) life as an award-winning journalist in New York City, Leigh returns to her childhood home in Connecticut. She quickly takes on her high school job, reunites with her high school friends, and starts up a relationship with an honest-to-god high-schooler.

It's difficult to watch Kristen Bell go through such trying emotions. Not because she isn't any good; on the contrary, Bell nails her performance of a 20-or-30-something lost in life. It's difficult because you just want to hug her character like a puppy and tell her it will all be okay. Leigh is lucky to be surrounded by great friends, and Kristen Bell is luckier for the actors portraying them. Mamie Gummer turns in a particularly fine performance as Leigh's friend Mel. The actors are given a rather heavy script for a movie about a 30-year-old lifeguard, but they are more than capable of carrying it into the next level.


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