8 March 2007 | rsoonsa
Watching This Will Be A Rather Boring Experience For Most.
This work made for television is obviously meant as a showcase for actress Julianne Phillips, renowned more for her marital situation than for acting skills, here giving an unpersuasive turn as a juvenile learning the hard way that working as a life guard is a serious matter. Although her acting improved to some degree in later years, any natural performing skill possessed by the comely player is patently lacking here, a condition matched by her cast companions. Despite its being marketed as a sun and sex drenched Southern California beach based comedy, the piece is actually a melodrama, and quite safely removed from any potentiality of providing interest to voyeurs. There is nothing of inventive imagery, but the affair is blessedly free of profanity, sexual frolicking, or nudity, since any of these would have been extraneous for its scenario. Phillips is awkwardly cast as Joanna Brannigan, a 17 year old freshly graduated from high school and intending to laze away her summer vacation before beginning college studies; however, due to a crush on a supervising life guard, Carlisle, played by Ted Shackelford, she has determined to apply for summer employment under his leadership. After Carlisle rejects Joanna's amourous advances, she immediately begins a relationship with Jackson (Paul Keenan), her life guard partner at the station to which she is assigned. Each turn of plot is to order, with the main storyline threads involving tribulations of the heart for Joanna and Jackson, in addition to those of her estranged parents, all occasionally shaded by brief seaside rescue incidents. Pedestrian throughout, the movie provides a surfeit of subplots that, after an initial sally, simply disappear. A film lacking entertaining highlights, having mediocre production values, with a hackneyed story including a poorly composed ending, and quite deserving of its oblivion, nonetheless offers one unusual element within its plot: Jackson's struggle with Ménière's Disease, an affliction of the inner ear that plagues many people.