0371 | Results

Though this romantic comedy has been described as mumblecore pioneer Andrew Bujalski’s move from lo-lo-lo-lo-fi indie filmmaking to something approaching mainstream cinema it’s his first film to feature well-known professional actors, for example, and clearly cost more to make than anything else he has produced it’s still refreshingly different to most of the other movies clogging up the market in this tired old genre. What we have is a love triangle, of sorts, involving personal trainer Kat (Cobie Smulders), her health freak boss Trevor (Guy Pearce, reverting to his real accent despite the Austin, Texas setting) and their mutual client Danny (Kevin Corrigan), a newly-divorced and unfit guy who has recently and unexpectedly inherited millions of dollars following the death of his estranged mother. The film explores Kat’s relationships with the two men, and the strange health and money-related relationship that forms between Danny and Trevor.

A lot of people will be put off by the pace of Results, or perhaps by the fact that its writer and director steadfastly avoids some (but not all) of the genre’s conventions, ensuring that some may experience discomfort at no longer being in Kansas. The film plods along, slowly but surely, and Bujalski eschews traditional dynamics between the three main characters: most other rom-coms featuring two men and a women would pit one likable guy against one barely-likeable guy and the lady would eventually choose the partner that the majority of audience members will be rooting for (see Bridget Jones’ Diary, High Fidelity, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Philadelphia Story et al); that’s not the photo_04-695x397case here. Although Trevor’s extreme dedication to healthy lifestyles means he spouts all manner of risible motivational bullshit inside his own gym, he’s essentially a decent and honest guy. And so is Danny, a man who is trying to expand his social circle while also coming to terms with the break-up of his marriage and the unhappiness that comes with his new-found wealth. The intense, irascible Kat is younger than both men, but is seemingly pressured by her age and the idea that she should be out having casual sex that leads nowhere, and is thus unwilling at first to commit to a relationship with either suitor. So where most rom-coms have a principal focus on one party of the potential romance, here there’s equal weight given to all three; as such even as the film enters the final act you’re never quite sure how it’s going to turn out, which is a rarity, and it feels more realistic than the usual fayre we see.

Bujalski shares the same level of interest in his characters and their lives as Richard Linklater, and several ten minute periods drift by where they’re just talking in rooms together, shooting the breeze while nothing much happens. It’s a little self-indulgent, and you may find yourself checking your watch at times, but it does mean that all three feel like well-rounded and believable characters by the end (although the one supporting role, filled by Giovanni Ribisi, feels distinctly underwritten by comparison). It’s not a distinctly funny film, by any means, and it lacks some of the idiosyncratic touches of Bujalski’s earlier work (though there are some), but Results has a certain peculiar charm and it has been a while since I’ve been surprised by the plot of a romantic comedy (though I’m not suggesting there are extreme and unexpected left turns here). As a tentative first step into Hollywood it bodes well, but this director may have to compromise certain aspects of his style if he subsequently decides to jump right in. And it’s nice to see Anthony Michael Hall pop up, albeit briefly.

Directed by: Andrew Bujalski.
Written by: Andrew Bujalski.
Starring: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi.
Cinematography: Matthias Grunsky.
Editing: Robin Schwartz.
Music: Justin Rice.
Certificate: 12A.
Running Time: 105 minutes.
Year: 2015.

Comments 9

  1. Tom October 3, 2015

    Well I think I can put this one on the books as I really like the cast (I have been really getting into Guy Pearce over the last 2 or so years, he’s tremendous even when he’s working with crappier material), and I like this idea about the story being harder to predict. Definite bonus points for me. Thanks for the review Stu

    • Stu October 5, 2015

      Glad to hear it Tom. I wouldn’t say that this is an overlooked gem but I did enjoy it and I was hoping at least one or two people would read the review and give it a whirl. Pearce isn’t at his best here but don’t let that put you off, he’s still OK!

  2. Todd Benefiel October 9, 2015

    I’m not at all opposed to films that take their time, especially if they’re worth the trip and offer a few original moments along the way. So I checked to see if this was on Netflix…no. Then I went to Amazon Prime…no. So I guess it’s a long bike ride to the library for me! Thanks Stu!

    • Stu October 9, 2015

      Ah, too bad Todd. It’s quite apt though, seeing as the film is about a couple of fitness freaks and set in a gym! On your bike! By the way, I had something pithy to add to your review of Game 6 the other day but couldn’t seem to comment. Have you turned them off?

      • Todd Benefiel October 9, 2015

        Whoa, I may be a freak, but don’t you dare call me a FITNESS freak!

        And yes, I was missing your feedback, but I hadn’t turned off my comment capability, so I just took a look…and yes, it’s indeed missing. And looking at the draft, it appears…the comment option is gone! So I’m going to dig a little deeper here, and see what’s up. The way WordPress messes with themes on an hourly basis, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d removed my theme’s comment option permanently. Thanks for the head’s up, Stu; in the meantime, feel free to send me your pithy comments via the postal service.

        • Stu October 9, 2015

          I was mainly going to comment that I like the look of the cast (Keaton and Downey Jr in a snark-off?) and that the one and only baseball game I’ve seen live involved the Pittsburgh Pirates beating the Cincinatti Reds (and I even saw a grand slam courtesy of either Barry Bonds or Bobby Bonilla…I can’t remember who scored it!)

        • Todd Benefiel October 9, 2015

          It was a strange little movie at times; I enjoyed Keaton’s performance, but Downey Jr’s character was so odd and off-kilter (until the very, very end), I lost interest in him fast. And at which ballpark did you see your game? Were you out here visiting, or did you once live in the States?

        • Stu October 9, 2015

          It was the Three Rivers Stadium – my sister used to live in Pittsburgh. I lived in DC for a while but sadly before they had a baseball team!

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