The Lifeguard: A Glimpse at a Life Moving Backwards


Career-wise, Leigh London (Kristen Bell) is in a great place, considering that she has a great job writing for the Associated Press. But on an emotional level, Leigh is restless and desperate for a change. Her thirtieth birthday is fast approaching and the bright lights and fast living of New York City aren’t so appealing anymore. This prompts Leigh to move back to her parents’ home in suburban Connecticut. She quickly retrogresses into her old life, including getting a job as a lifeguard (the job she had in high school) and reconnecting with old friends Todd and Mel (Martin Starr and Mamie Gummer)However, things take an interesting turn when she develops a romantic relationship with sixteen-year-old Little Jason (David Lambert).

“The Lifeguard” was the first film I saw at Sundance. While I enjoyed some moments, the character development kept me from loving the film. Leigh is an interesting character, but by the end of the film, it’s not certain whether she’s grown at all. Overall, “The Lifeguard” is a solid effort from first-time director Liz W. Garcia. It’s not quite my cup of tea but will likely resonate with twenty-somethings who feel stuck at a certain point in their lives.