Tag Archives: Kevin Corrigan

The Bob Abides

Phoenix, Oregon

by Hope Madden

Phoenix, Oregon tells the outrageous story of Oregon hipsters polluting the glorious, white trash game of bowling. $18 pizzas? Organic pilsners?

What does a sister gotta do to get a large pep and a Bud?

That is, actually, the story it tells, but its focus is more on the small town coming-of-middle-age saga of the hipsters.

Journeyman James Le Gros is Bobby, a fiftyish bartender at what passes for a fine dining establishment in Phoenix, Oregon. His best friend Carlos (Jesse Borrego) is the chef who can no longer tolerate the cheapskate ways of whining, entitled restauranteur Kyle (Diedrich Bader).

He proposes that Bobby take the fifty grand his mom left him (along with the Airstream where he’s been living since he downsized after his divorce) and invest that cash in a dream: said hipster bowling alley/pie shop.

Bobby needs to think—wallow, really—the same way he always does, by drawing impressive panels in a graphic novel/memoire concerning the aliens who pre-determine his life.

But really, he mostly draws pictures of his ex-wife.

Gary Lundgren’s direction and production values betray a minimal budget and comfortably limited imagination. Like Bobby, Phoenix, Oregon doesn’t set out to impress anybody, so the fully grown slacker kind of vibe actually suits it.

Le Gros’s slyly low key performance certainly fits. Quiet and socially uncomfortable,  he brings a realism to the life transition, intentionally but not obnoxiously calling to mind the same awkwardness of adolescence.

Lisa Edelstein, also bracingly realistic, enlivens all her scenes with the sexy vitality and charm of world worn freedom.

Characteristically, Kevin Corrigan is a wrong-headed hoot as a repairman with a chip on his shoulder, but even his generally raucous humor feels subdued. Phoenix, Oregon contents itself with a smirk and a shrug. The entire effort’s lack of showiness allows a hometown authenticity to drive the narrative.

Phoenix, Oregon, while pleasant throughout, offers low stakes, low energy, low drama. Rivalries are easily if not tidily overcome and life goes on. It’s sweet and charming in a low key, comfortable way, but it is hardly a thrill ride.

Love at the Stairmaster


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.