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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Review: Results

Fitness is hot right now; it's gone from being the cliche New Year's resolution to a lifestyle that has taken over. How many readers have their FitBit on right now? It only makes sense that a gym be the setting for a dramedy character piece, and that's exactly what Andrew Bujalski's Results aims to be.

Results tells the story of three weirdly intertwined people: there's Trevor (Guy Pearce), the uber-motivated gym owner, Kat (Cobie Smulders), his best personal trainer who's got a boiling temper, and Danny (Kevin Corrigan), the recently divorced, recently rich slob who is trying to figure out what to do with his life. Danny hires Kat to be his personal trainer, but things get sticky quickly as he begins to fall for her, their feud spilling over into Trevor's dream of buying a bigger space and growing his business.

The problem, however, is that that's all there is to the plot, if you can even call it that. It's hard to even summarize the story of Results because there is absolutely no through-line. Trevor is the only character with understandable motivations, but his goals are so caught up in the nonsense with Danny that any real weight they might have had is utterly lost. The film just sort of meanders along with these characters randomly, until it seems Bujalski remembered that he needed to advance the plot, spurring on bizarrely unmotivated moves. Kat and Danny beginning a sort of relationship seems far out of character for Kat, who first seems to just tolerate Danny, and then the on-again-off-again relationship with Trevor that makes up the third act feels like a different movie altogether. 

The only thing salvaging the movie into being fairly watchable is the characters themselves. Smulders gives a great performance in her role as Kat, who is strong and opinionated (except when the plot needs to happen) and quite funny; frankly, it's great to see her not as Maria Hill for a change. Pearce and Corrigan also fare well–Trevor is a person whose earnestness and attitude are hard to resist, and Danny's bumbling attempts at figuring out how to live and act as a millionaire can be pretty hilarious. 

This is exactly why Results is such a frustrating movie. There are some really great characters, good performances, and even a perfect topical setting, but it all gets crammed into a weird mold of a plot that doesn't take advantage of all its strengths. Bujalski came up with some super fun characters with interesting backgrounds, but had absolutely no idea what to do with them. Unfortunately the script isn't the only problem, as the film tries way too hard to be clever with its editing, ultimately falling flat with its odd wipes and hard music cuts.

On the surface, Results has a lot to love: a fantastic cast, great characters, and a funny, topical situation. Unfortunately, this is largely squandered on a plot that has no point, winding in and out of making sense. If you're a fan of Smulders, Pearce, or Corrigan, it may be worth checking out, but otherwise this is not a must-see.

Results is directed by Andrew Bujalski and stars Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, and Kevin Corrigan. It opens in Landmark Theaters, including Atlanta's Midtown Art Cinema, this Friday, 6/5/15.
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