Mumblecore filmmaker Andrew Bujalski’s most “commercial” film to date may please his fans with its talkiness and lack of real dramatic action, but viewers unaccustomed to his laid back style may want more from this comedy-drama.
Results focuses on the lives of three characters caught in a love triangle. Trevor (Guy Pearce) is the founder of Power 4 Life, a fitness studio that emphasizes “physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual” health. His best trainer is Kat (Cobie Smulders), who is intense about her client’s workout regimen and just about everything else in her life. When the “pudgy and mellow” Danny (Kevin Corrigan) inherits millions and hires Kat to get him in shape, it turns out he is more interested in eating pizza and smoking weed than exercising.
Bujalski has fun as Danny tries in his own, socially inept way, to make friends, like Paul (Giovanni Ribisi), a lawyer, and woo Kat, who gives him personal training sessions. But the film emphasizes this rich man’s loneliness, boredom and depression, which holds only so much interest. Trevor, it is shown, is lonely as well. He wants to grow his business, but has some anxiety about this decision. When Danny makes an inappropriate pass at Kat, Trevor steps in to handle the situation and ends up befriending Danny, and they become business partners.
Results is all about the life changes these three characters undergo, and while Bujalski takes his time for viewers to get to know and understand Trevor, Kat, and Danny, he does not give his characters much to do. They talk about their goals, and try to achieve them with mixed results. The film seems to be forever searching for a point. When it finally comes, it may be too late.
Most of the film depicts Danny in his big, sparse mansion trying to connect to something or someone. Kat and Trevor seem happy to take advantage of his generosity, and when the dynamic between the characters shifts, Results gets mildly interesting. But that moment passes as the film concentrates on Trevor’s relationship with Kat. How their personal and professional relationships play out is unsurprising and lackluster.
The three lead actors do their best in their underwritten characters, and it’s nice to see Corrigan get a meaty part. In support, Ribisi’s Paul is a wisp of a role, and Anthony Michael Hall is unrecognizable as Grigory, a kettlebell enthusiast.
Results mostly feels strained.
Results opens today at the Ritz Bourse.
Author: Gary M. Kramer
Gary M. Kramer is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. He is the co-editor of Directory of World Cinema: Argentina. Volumes 1 and 2, and teaches seminars at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Follow him on Twitter @garymkramer.