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The Lifeguard

MV5BMjExOTI5MjY3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjU2NDk3OQ@@._V1_SX214_Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, David Lambert

Leigh is soon turning 30 and unhappy with the direction her life seems to be taking. She wants to make some positive changes, so returns to her small home town to live with her parents – what she calls “getting back to basics”.

She starts work as a lifeguard (her high school job!) and catches up with old friends. Unfortunately, she enters into a very inappropriate relationship, jeopardising her friendships, and doing nothing to help get her life together. In fact, under Leigh’s influence, they all start to lose direction.

There are quite a few films around where the protagonist returns home to live with the parents when things go wrong: see BridesmaidsGirl Most Likely (Imogene)Silver Linings PlaybookCakeHello I Must Be Going, (and the classic…) Failure to Launch. It’s being 30 and discovering that life didn’t go according to plan, and The Lifeguard definitely fits into this list.

This film is not at all what I expected. In fact, it’s no rom com, coming under the banner of romantic drama. It is pretty sexually graphic, but it’s also very raw and there are no attempts to pretty things up. I very much like the camera work.

The film gets a bit bogged down about three-quarters of the way through. But apart from that, Bell and Gummer give great performances. All in all this movie isn’t too bad – it’s thoughtful, definitely watchable, albeit a bit depressing.

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Knocked up

Katherine Heigl, Seth Rogan, Paul Rudd, Leslie Man, Kristen Wiig, Jason Segal, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Martin Starr

Alison and Ben (Heigl and Rogan) are complete opposites. He needs to straighten up, and she needs to lighten up. When they hook up on a drunken one night stand, he gets her pregnant. Now they have to form some kind of relationship, starting with getting to know each other, and trying to like each other.

Alison lives with her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) and her husband Peter (played by Paul Rudd). Their relationship has a few problems of its own, which has an influence on how Alison and Ben think about their future. Will they even have a future together considering they are so ill suited?

This is a very funny movie, with much of the humour supplied by Jason Segal, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, and Martin Starr – Ben’s friends and housemates. This was the first rom com where I saw Heigl and I loved her straight away. This is a fast and funny film, with great acting, and lots of hilarious ‘bit’ parts (Wiig playing one in particular). Classic rom com, one of my favourites.

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