Monday, June 8, 2015

The Lifeguard (2013)

Number Rolled: 3
Movie Name/Year: The Lifeguard (2013)
Genre: Indie
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: C Plus Pictures, La Pistola, Attic Light Films, Off Hollywood Pictures, Wild Invention, Houndstooth, Productivity Media
Executive Producer: Dallas Brennan, Tim Brown, Estelle Buzzard, Mike Dolan, Chris Gilligan, Brian Hartman, John Mancini, Ed McWilliams, Diaa Nour, Daljit DJ Parmar, William Santor, Gregory P. Shockro, Rabinder Sira, Andrew Chang-Sang
Director: Liz W. Garcia
Writer: Liz W. Garcia
Actors: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Jashua Harto, David Lambert, Amy Madigan, Adam LeFevre, John Finn, Paulie Litt, Sendhil Ramamurthy

Selina’s Point of View:
Leigh is having some problems. She feels suffocated in New York; invisible. When the guy she’s seeing gets engaged, she decides to give herself a change of scenery and head home for a while.

This was a hardcore drama. I don’t tend to enjoy that kind of film. I only like the genre when it’s mixed with another: comedy, action, horror, thriller, etc. I want to say that was the only reason I didn’t like the film, but it was also the plot. I found it… icky.

I know that’s some real third grade vocabulary, but there is no other way to put it. It was icky. Plain and simple.

For what it was, however, the actors were great. Kristen Bell (House of Lies, Veronica Mars, Frozen) is amazing on a general basis and David Lambert (The Fosters, Aaron Stone, Den Brother) really embodied his part. The same cast in a different movie would be nice.

Cat’s Point of View:
The Lifeguard was another movie I watched blind. I skipped the trailer, and reviews of others in favor of a blank slate. I’m glad I did.

I didn’t know in advance that Kristen Bell’s (Movie 43, Gossip Girl, Scream 4) character would become involved with the younger character played by David Lambert (The Fosters, Den Brother, Aaron Stone). Setting the ‘should they’ or ‘shouldn’t they’ aside; their performances were outstanding and the chemistry was believable.

It was also quite the treat to see Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams, Uncle Buck, Carnivale) as Leigh’s mother. She is wonderful in a maternal role and didn’t disappoint.

I can understand that many will find moral stumbling ground, and perhaps outrage, over the age difference in the relationship that takes place within the movie.  Wrong, right, legal, or illegal these sorts of situations happen in the real world.

The movie clearly wasn’t meant to be a fluff piece where everyone lives in ideal-land and never breaks rules or has questionable moral fiber. It was meant to be a gritty movie about nearing a big milestone in life and realizing you’re lost amidst the choices that have brought you thus far.

I feel this is a relatable movie. Things don’t always turn out how you’ve planned – even if you’re the valedictorian and land the job of your dreams. This was a poignant tale of trying to recapture a feeling of happiness, security, and life direction.

Considering that writing TV dramas has been the bread and butter for Liz W. Garcia (Dawson's Creek, Cold Case, Memphis Beat); it is no surprise that her directorial debut was an edgy drama. I am looking forward to seeing more of her work on the big screen.

Netflix guessed this at only 2 stars for me. I think it's still learning my preferences, however. I enjoyed the movie. Some of the deeper concepts are resonating with me, and have me thinking long after the credits stopped rolling.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 13%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 27%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.8/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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