Posted by Joel Copling on June 1, 2015

It's really difficult not to elicit an obvious titular pun, so I'll just use it now to get it over with: "Results" is more determined than the viewer may want it to be. For about eighty minutes, writer/director Andrew Bujalski's film seems to be going down a path that leads to an uncertain conclusion, and the decision to do so would have been a gutsy one in line with its characters' observant arcs as flawed individuals searching for some sort of escape. Ending the whole affair on a note of entirely forced catharsis that rushes to the finish line in the homestretch dulls the intended effect and derails the loose sense of cool confidence to which we had grown accustomed until the fatal shift.

And it's a shame, because these are characters we grow to like despite some serious issues. Receiving top billing on the poster and in advertisements is Guy Pearce as Trevor, the head trainer of a gym called Power 4 Life, but our main protagonist of sorts is really Kat (Cobie Smulders), one of Trevor's underlings and, predictably, his ex-girlfriend. She's an over-protective sort, accosting a client in her car to remind her that she's overdue on payments to the gym, and we can see that perhaps a bit of Trevor's personality has rubbed off on her (or vice versa--whatever the case, we can see why the two dated and also why it was an awkward relationship when the third act sees them sorta-kinda pick it back up).

Much of what constitutes a plot centers around Kat's new client Danny (Kevin Corrigan), a divorced sad-sack who has basically set up camp in a giant house oddly proportioned to the amount of stuff he owns. He's got money, though, that he inherited from a deceased parent and he means to use it. In this case, he plans to pay for two years' worth of training sessions from Kat, with whom he strikes up, at first, innocent flirtations which increase in lack of appropriateness. They go too far when he vaguely suggests that they turn their sessions into ones wherein they merely spend time with each other (thus, he would be literally paying money for them to date). Her refusal of advances has unexpected consequences.

So, yes, Danny is kind of a creep, but Corrigan is adept at playing the role as merely a sad-sack who abuses his training with Kat by eating pizza and smoking pot. The character doesn't have much of an arc, though, and whatever one there is kind of trails off into nothing before the end. Brought into keener focus is Kat herself as she realizes training is probably only a transient thing in her life; Danny's oddball behavior and a heated encounter with another client who has decided to quit are the catalyst for this realization, and why she then seems to unravel emotionally feels like a natural progression thanks to Smulders's performance. Pearce is fine as Trevor, but the character doesn't have much to do beyond being protective of Kat and buying out new real estate for the gym (Anthony Michael Hall has an amusing cameo as a famous, European celebrity body-builder who voices interest in investment). "Results" ultimately mimics Trevor.

Film Information

Guy Pearce (Trevor), Cobie Smulders (Kat), Kevin Corrigan (Danny), Giovanni Ribisi (Paul), Brooklyn Decker (Erin), Anthony Michael Hall (Grigory), Tishuan Scott (Lorenzo), Zoe Graham (Talley), David Bernon (Ivan).

Directed and written by Andrew Bujalski.

Rated R (language, sexual content, drug use).

105 minutes.

Released in select cities on May 29, 2015.