The Lifeguard

Watch The Lifeguard

"This Summer Growing Up is Optional"
  • R
  • 2013
  • 5.6  (15,168)
  • 34

The Lifeguard is a poignant and engaging drama that explores the complexities of adulthood, identity, and social norms in a small town. Directed by Liz W. Garcia and starring Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, and Martin Starr, the movie follows the story of Leigh (Bell), an aimless journalist in New York City who decides to quit her job and return to her hometown in Connecticut, where she takes up her old job as a lifeguard.

As Leigh reconnects with her past and familiar faces from her high school years, she quickly realizes that coming back home doesn't offer an easy escape from the struggles of life. Struggling with unfulfilled desires, thwarted dreams, and the weight of the expectations of others, Leigh struggles to reconcile her personal ambitions with the norms and expectations of her conservative town.

Through a series of complex and emotionally charged scenes, The Lifeguard delves into Leigh's search for connecting with her own identity, her struggles with addiction, and her attempts to navigate a romantic relationship with a much younger man played by Martin Starr. The movie is an exhilarating and thought-provoking take on the intricacies of human connectivity and self-discovery.

Kristen Bell provides a fantastic performance that balances vulnerability with strength and humor. She manages to bring a sense of freshness and honesty to her portrayal of Leigh, making her flawed character feel relatable and likeable. Bell shines throughout the movie, bringing remarkable depth and nuance to the character of Leigh.

The supporting cast also elevates the movie, with Mamie Gummer delivering a knockout performance as Mel, Leigh's rebellious and unpredictable high school friend. Gummer offers a raw and gritty portrayal of a woman who tries, but often fails to break free from the constraints of their small, conservative town. Martin Starr’s character is responsible for bringing a sense of lightness and humor to the movie. He balances Leigh's seriousness and gives the film a sense of heart and vulnerability, hitting a perfect note throughout the movie.

The movie's themes and tones are echoed throughout the beautifully crafted cinematography and directing, with Liz W. Garcia effectively capturing the beauty and melancholy of the small town. The shots of Leigh walking through her hometown, taking in the sights and sounds of her childhood, add a significant layer of nostalgia, while also highlighting the town’s unique and suffocating atmosphere.

Another aspect that adds to the movie's beauty is its soundtrack, with a range of songs filled with emotions that complement the film's scenes perfectly. The music provides a fitting backdrop to accompany the story's themes and messages, and enhances the overall experience.

In conclusion, The Lifeguard is a terrific movie, a character-driven drama that explores the complexities of adulthood with heart, humor, and nuance. It's a story that is poignant, honest, and truthful, with its performances, directing, cinematography, and music adding up to give the movie its unique and captivating charm. Anyone looking for a movie that offers more than just one-dimensional storytelling and instead that explores the depth of the human experience will find The Lifeguard an excellent pick. It's a movie that deserves more attention and recognition from audiences and critics alike.

The Lifeguard is a 2013 drama. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.6 and a MetaScore of 34.

The Lifeguard
Where to Watch The Lifeguard
The Lifeguard is available to watch free on Crackle, The Roku Channel Free and Pluto TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, FuboTV, Philo and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent The Lifeguard for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
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  • IMDB Rating
    5.6  (15,168)
  • Metascore