Writer/director Andrew Bujalski gave us the mumblecore films Beeswax and Computer Chess. He’s made a more mainstream movie with Results, but…with its deliberate pace…this probably isn’t for everyone. It was for me, though. There’s nothing like watching an unpredictable story peppered with lots of laughs. We don’t need another love triangle that goes down all the usual paths, do we?
Guy Pearce is Trevor, who reminded me a bit of Brad Pitt’s gym trainer in Burn After Reading. He owns the gym “Power 4 Life” and is a fitness guru who spouts off new-agey phrases that would normally make you dislike him. Yet he seems to buy into his own BS, and he’s got a good heart.
Cobie Smulders (Avengers, Captain America, Safe Haven) is a trainer that gives Trevor a lot of grief. He deals with her tantrums, but is it because they sleep together? Does he think she’s a valuable asset to the company? It’s nice that the Bujalski lets us find things out as the film slowly goes along.
Kevin Corrigan, the star of many indie flicks (my favorite being Big Fan), is the one character that doesn’t quite work. In the first half of the movie he’s interesting. He’s overweight, has unkempt hair, and recently came into money. You think he might be going to the gym to lose a little weight. When Trevor asks about his goals, he states, “I want to learn how to take a punch, and not fall down.”
This all takes place in Austin, Texas. Trevor wants to expand his gym, which appears to be a successful small business. He has a work out philosophy, and idolizes a Russian weightlifter he watches on TV (Anthony Michael Hall). We’ve all worked for a boss that’s in over his head, and that’s Trevor. He wants his new building to have juice bars and psychiatrists, yet he has trouble dealing with trainers that don’t get along with each other. He’s also bad at explaining his business model and motivations to various people.
Kat (Cobie Smulders) starts training Danny (Kevin Corrigan) at his mansion. She likes the fact that he listeners to her, and that she won’t have problems collecting payments (she starts the movie chasing somebody down to collect a debt). She isn’t so fond of his continued eating habits, as well as his smoking and drinking.
He watches her videos online, and we’d think he was a perv for doing that, but…he’s not doing anything sexual while watching them. It’s no different than those of us that have Googled an attractive woman we recently met, or checked out an old flames Facebook page. Danny is lonely, and we can feel for him.
There are so many interesting scenes in this film. One of them is when we first meet Giovanni Ribisi. Corrigan asks if he knows where to buy pot, and he jokes that he’s an undercover cop.
There’s a dinner with Michael Anthony Hall and his submissive wife, that’s one of those awkward scenes you enjoy on film, but cringe when they happen in real life.
Another dinner scene has Corrigan taking a selfie as he shoves a piece of pizza in down his pie hole. That would be funny enough, but it’s made more hysterical when we find out he does that because Kat has told him to, “Make a food log of everything you eat.”
There’s a restaurant scene where Trevor tries to get a breakfast with just egg whites. It reviles the classic Nicholson scene where he wants a side of toast in Five Easy Pieces.
All the awkward scenes are great, and a lot of the jokes are sharp. One example is when Corrigan asks Kat, “Did I have a shot with you?”
She responds, “The short answer – no.”
He curiously asks, “What’s the long answer?”
It’s refreshing that this movie isn’t just going for cheap laughs. There aren’t jokes about Danny’s pudginess. We laugh because he’s doing an exercise wrong and looks silly; or when he gets into a little scuffle with a trainer and is pinned against the wall (with his electric guitar still in hand). The trainer says, “I’m going to let you go now.”
His response: “I’m looking forward to it.”
When he’s let go, the director was smart enough to throw in the sound a plugged in electric guitar makes when you bang it against something. It’s those small touches that work wonderfully.
In the second half of the movie, they just don’t do enough with Danny and that makes the film feel like it’s dragging a bit.
These characters are all screwed up to a certain degree, but we root for all of them. That’s not because Bujalski is forcing us to with some cheesy scene where a character expresses their true love, in a well-worded proclamation. It’s because we slowly learn things about their quirkiness, and the wry humor sprinkled in just makes it a fun and realistic ride.
The resolution at the end is a bit too perfect, but in the end…Results got the desired results from this critic.
It gets 3 ½ stars out of 5.