The Lifeguard Review
Every year, when December hits, I go into movie overdrive. I push myself in this last month to see as many movies as possible, seeing as many new releases in order to have a good perspective of the year gone by. Especially now that I have a blog of my own, I feel like I am moving a mile a minute to get as many new reviews up for you all to read. I'm not complaining, I enjoying doing this very much. I guess I wanted to say this out loud so that you could understand some of my end-of-the-year choices.
I've never particularly been a fan of Kristen Bell. I've never found her funny, I've never found her to be a very good actress and I've surely never found her entertaining. While watching "The Lifeguard," I tried really hard to think of a good film with Bell in it. Sorry, got nothing. That streak doesn't change with "The Lifeguard," which feels like a film that is about absolutely nothing. All I know is that its a film that involves the silliest of situations and featuring the most unlikable of people.
Kristen Bell plays a 29-year-old woman who is fed up with her life in big city New York. So she moves back to smalltown America, lives with her parents and gets a job as a lifeguard. She then proceeds to get together with her old high school friends, and they pretend like they are back in high school again. Kristen Bell's character also decides to begin a relationship with a 16-year-old troubled boy. That's the whole movie, go ahead, start laughing. Its like I said, silly situations, unlikable characters.
Why is Bell's character so bummed about city life? Its barley explained. Why does she feel the need to get her old high school job back and start a relationship that could get her in serious trouble? I suppose she's having a quarter-life crisis. Sadly, "The Lifeguard" gives no detail toward anything that it becomes a jumbled mess. This is another one of those "slice of life" movies where there is a series of events and then its over. There is no real resolve anywhere, nothing at stake for the characters, it begins and ends. Kristen Bell isn't good in this, the rest of cast is full of hapless nobody's I hope I never see again. The film moves at a snails pace through a story that has a non-existent narrative. Plus, the film walks the line between comedy and drama that it has no idea what its trying to say.
I wish I could say more about this movie, but it seriously stunned me silent. It seems Bell is destined to play the same character in all her movies, despite content and direction. The other problem is that "The Lifeguard" seems so destined to be about nothing at all that I find it hard to think of things to say about it. Never a good sign when I am intellectually and honestly trying to review a film. There are whispers of something about grown up life and nostalgia, but the characters so distasteful and so stiff that nothing has any real impact. The film feels like a big piece of Teflon. The worst thing though? I don't see how anybody involved could do better.
FINAL GRADE: D-