Synopsis: Two mismatched personal trainers’ lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client, in Results.
Release Date: June 12, 2015 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Filmmaker Andrew Bujalski has been called the “Godfather of Mumblecore,” referring to his role in creating the self-absorbed genre characterized by microscopic budgets and improvisational performances. While his other films, including his debut Funny Ha Ha and the more recent Computer Chess, all subscribe to this ethic, Bujalski turns a corner and separates himself from the Mumblecore movement with his latest film, Results.
Results is about a wealthy guy named Danny (Kevin Corrigan from Pineapple Express and Superbad) who, after getting dumped by his girlfriend, decides to better his life and join a gym. He goes to a fitness center called Power 4 Life that is owned by a jock named Trevor (The Rover‘s Guy Pearce) where he is assigned to a no-nonsense trainer named Kat (Cobie Smulders from “How I Met Your Mother”). Kat and Danny get caught up in a battle of wills over Danny’s lazy and hedonistic lifestyle, and they actually become friends in the process. Meanwhile, Trevor makes plans to expand his business, and figures that Danny may be the financial investor that he has been looking for. Kay, Danny, and Trevor combine their personal lives with their professional ones, with predictably unpredictable “results.”
While it doesn’t exactly have the appearance of having a substantially larger budget than Andrew Bujalski’s other films have had, Results does have a slicker, cleaner look to it. It also gives the impression that it’s more highly scripted; there’s very little improvisational feel to the dialogue. As a result of this, it lacks the honesty and heart of Bujalski’s earlier work. There’s a definite plot, complete with twists, reversals, and intrigue, but it all seems like a paint-by-numbers outline, lacking any real voice or passion. With Results, Bujalski has progressed as a filmmaker, but regressed as a storyteller.
Results isn’t bad, it just isn’t very good, either. It’s just kind of there. It has its moments, but it’s stuck between the crisp cookie-cutter formula of the big studio rom-com and the refreshing honesty of a quirky independent film. Unfortunately for Results, it walks that line a little too cleanly rather than falling definitively and satisfactorily to one side or the other.
Director Andrew Bujalski takes a break from his normal routine with the casting of Results; while he usually has a fondness for unknown talent, the ensemble in Results consists primarily of experienced and seasoned actors. This ends up being a wise choice, as the performances of the cast are easily the strongest aspects of the film. The main trio of Cobie Smulders, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Corrigan all nail their characters, exhibiting a chemistry between them that alternates between comfortable and awkward, depending upon which point in the movie they’re in. Another high point is Giovanni Ribisi (Ted, The Rum Diary), who surprises the audience by going against type and playing a character who is not clinically insane (although the character is a lawyer, so all bets may be off). Anthony Michael Hall (yes, the guy from all of the John Hughes movies of the eighties like The Breakfast Club and Weird Science) and Brooklyn Decker (Battleship) both bring their A-game to small roles as well. Results is well-cast movie, there’s just not very much for the actors to do in it.
Results is classified as a romantic comedy, but it’s really neither romantic nor comedic. All of the attempts at romance in the film fail miserably, and there’s really nothing funny about any of it. It’s almost as if Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, and Guy Pearce are all trying to be the straight man, but there’s no comic relief off of which any of them can play. The only real humor is provided by Anthony Michael Hall, who plays an Eastern European fitness guru, but his screen time is too limited for him to get any real laughs, just some empty promises of them. Results has a few entertaining moments, and is charming in its own smiling-politely kind of way, but there’s very little about it that is funny.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Andrew Bujalski
- Producer(s): Paul BernonHouston KingSam Slater
- Screenwriter(s): Andrew Bujalski
- Cast: Guy PearceCobie SmuldersKevin Corrigan Giovanni RibisiBrooklyn DeckerAnthony Michael HallConstance ZimmerTishuan ScottZoe GrahamDavid Bernon
- Editor(s): Robin Schwartz
- Cinematographer: Matthias Grunsky
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer: Colin Wilkes
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Justin Rice
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA