Director: Andrew Bujalski
Cast: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan
Synopsis: Two mismatched personal trainers’ lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client.
Mumblecore Godfather Andrew Bujalski aims for mainstream acceptance with Results, a thin non-comedy that ambles along with no real sense of purpose or direction which, given the nature of two of its key characters, is quite ironic when you think about it. Guy Pearce (In Her Skin, 33 Postcards) retains his Aussie accent for the part of Trevor, a gym owner with dreams of expansion. The name of his gym (and of his personal philosophy), is Power4Life, and it targets not only its client’s physical well-being, but their emotional and spiritual health as well. The ‘irony’ is that Trevor fails to understand that his own emotional and spiritual well-being is completely out of whack thanks to Kat (Cobie Smulders – Captain America: The Winter Soldier), one of the personal trainers on his staff with whom he once had a brief fling, and whose aggressive attitude serves as a barrier to emotional expression. Their thorny relationship remains in stasis until the appearance of newly-wealthy and divorced – and woefully miserable – Danny (Kevin Corrigan), who wanders into Trevor’s gym one day with the vague idea of getting fit enough to be able to take a punch.
Results is one of those movies in which nothing much seems to happen. Sometimes, in movies like that, the writing is so good that you barely notice nothing has happened, but that’s sadly not the case here. Characters talk and talk about their feelings – or, in the case of Kat, talk and talk around them – and the plot crawls along by fractions of a degree. No doubt, Bujalski’s aim was to impress with his emotional insights, but he builds his story around one character whose only mild point of interest is his misguided philosophy of life, and another whose prickly nature makes her highly unlikeable. You end up hoping these two will hook up just to prevent two other people from having to take them on. Only Danny has any real colour to him, but there’s something vaguely disturbing about him that Bujalski’s screenplay never quite manages to dispel, and which leads one to ask just why Kat would ever consider a dalliance with him, no matter how much alcohol and drugs she may have consumed.
Too soft on its targets to be a satire, and too slight to be a comedy, Results is an exercise in aimless self-obsession which wastes a decent cast that works hard to breathe life into its plot without once coming close to succeeding.
(Reviewed 3rd October 2015)