by George Wolf
You get the feeling filmmaker Andrew Bujalski might have had a few sessions with a personal trainer, or maybe spent some time with a Crossfit WOD when inspiration hit for Results.
Who are these people, and why are they so eager to convince you they can change your life? What about them? How’d they get so perfect?
They’re not, of course, and Bujalski utilizes some charmingly offbeat characters and dark humor to remind us there’s more to being fit than just buns of steel.
Trevor (Guy Pearce) and Kat (Cobie Smulders) are trainers at an Austin, Texas gym, and have no troubles in the physique department. In fact, their hot bodies get together every now and then, but neither of them can pin down quite where the relationship stands.
Enter Danny (Kevin Corrigan), a mysterious, disheveled shlub who wanders into the gym one day and decides he needs to get in shape. Danny is recently divorced, and even more recently very rich, which leads him to offer people $200 to do random things, like set up his TV or bring him over a cat.
Danny wants private sessions at his home gym, and after a few with Kat, wouldn’t mind more than just a business relationship. That doesn’t sit well with Trevor, and elicits some surprising reactions that tangle them all in quite an unusual triangle.
Sure, a romantic comedy about people searching for something real is old hat, but writer/director Bujalski (Computer Chess) gives us interesting characters in unique situations to breathe some fun new life into the genre.
Bujalksi may be moving to more mainstream projects, but he’s not dumbing anything down. The humor still bites, and his eye for observational detail remains keen. He crafts subtle parallels between the quests for love and fitness, and draws fine performances from his cast to make them stick.
Pearce is customarily solid, it’s nice to see Corrigan getting bigger parts, and both Giovanni Ribisi and Anthony Michael Hall chip in memorable cameos, but Smulders makes the biggest impression here. In giving Kat some unexpected depth, Smulders shows she’s ready to move beyond sitcoms and superhero support with a breakout performance.
Playful, smart, and unhurried, Results is among the most charming adult fare this summer.