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Monday, June 16, 2014

This Lifegurad Definitely Needs Saving!



The Lifeguard is a movie that I will definitely not recommend to anyone. Unless a tiny pervert resides in you and you find that it is okay for a thirty year old woman to have sex with an underage high school boy of 17. There, I have told you what the basic plot of the story is. Maybe this has been intriguing enough for you and you will make your decision, wise or not based on the very first line of this article. 


This is where I cannot stand Hollywood’s hypocrisy; if the genders were to be reversed, with an older man with an underage girl, it would have caused uproar! But since this time around, it is a very pretty blonde who is taking advantage of a skater boy punk kid, suddenly this is okay. Kristen Bell plays Leigh London, an almost thirty reporter at Associated Press in New York, who feels lost at her job, lost with her ‘adult’ life. While doing a story about a pet tiger that died of malnutrition, Leigh figures out that she and the tiger are the same at a metaphorical level, both being trapped in a cage. She concurs that her life too is headed towards the same fate as the tiger’s so she ups her entire New York life and moves back in with her parents. 

Once home, she takes up her old high school job as a lifeguard at the community pool and seeks out her old friends – Mel (Mamie Gummer), the vice principal of the local school and Todd (Martin Starr), an art appraiser. She encourages a ‘carefree’ behavior in both of her friends which includes smoking weed, and drinking with the underage kids of Mel’s school. While Mel isn’t exactly thrilled about it, she goes ahead with Leigh’s outrageous plans in order to get away from her controlling husband. Leigh eventually begins a relationship with the 17 year old Jason (David Lambert). 

Leigh’s story is nothing new and has been told plenty of times before. While I did empathize with her at one level, because I am the sort of person who feels lost and left out on a regular basis, I however did not appreciate the fact that she thought she could just turn up and play around with her friends’ lives. I also did not appreciate her summer fling with an underage high school kid. The film presents you with no resolution. Leigh departs with the same lost look that she arrived with; she has no plan. While this happens to be the reality, I guess as an audience I want some hope at the end of the movie which tells me that my life will get better eventually, with a bit of planning. One needn’t mirror all the realities of life; it becomes a little difficult to meet the gaze then.   

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