“Results” is a lightweight comedy about three characters who are not very good at perceiving or expressing their feelings. While its jaunty narrative feels too loose at times, the movie thankfully does not push them into genre conventions, and it generates small nice comic moments as observing how they push and pull each other in their strained relationships.
Guy Pearce, who is on his most cheerful mode since “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (1994), plays Trevor, the ambitious owner of a local fitness club in Austin, Texas. Being your typical ever-optimistic guy, Trevor firmly believes that he will get good results if he keeps focusing on his goal while always trying hard, and you may agree with him at least in case of physical training. After all, making your body fitter and slimmer depends on your focus and efforts, doesn’t it?
Among his trainers, Kat (Cobie Smulders) is the most popular and resourceful one, and she and Trevor have been quite intimate with each other, but their relationship has not gone beyond sex yet mainly because both of them are just fine with the current status. While Trevor concentrates on how to expand his business further, Kat is usually occupied with being the practical voice of reason for her dreamer boss, and we get a humorous moment when Kat confronts a client with delayed payment problem in the middle of her routine jogging time.
On one day, a guy comes into Trevor’s fitness club. While he looks like a plain loser on the surface, Danny (Kevin Corrigan) is actually a very rich guy thank to the fortune he unexpectedly inherited shortly after his divorce, and he is willing to pay a lot to Trevor for bringing a little positive change into his present life of luxurious ennui. He demands a long-term private trainer, and Trevor gladly assigns Kat to Danny.
While Danny seems to be ready to follow whatever his private trainer instructs him to do, it is apparent that he is not that serious about his training program to start. I must confess that I have been pretty lousy in my own weight control during recent years, but eating more than half of a large-sized pizza after the first meeting with your trainer is too low even in my deficient standard.
Anyway, as requested by Kat, Danny is frank about what he usually eats, and Kat sees Danny as an interesting challenge while Trevor becomes more hopeful about his business plan which will be financed by Danny’s big fat paycheck. He already sets his eyes on a far wider place for his fitness club, and he is more focused on his goal than ever as his mind is brimming with the ideas on how his new business place will look bright and positive for his future clients.
After its main characters are established during the first act, the movie takes an unexpected turn later while shifting its focus a bit. The director/writer Andre Bujalski, who previously directed “Computer Chess” (2013), handles this narrative transition smoothly as wisely avoiding clichés, and the movie freely rolls around its main characters as steadily maintaining its low-key humor. We know well where it is probably going, but then it throws small laughs and surprises while going its way.
One of the most amusing moments in the film comes from when Trevor and Kat come to have a dinner with a successful Russian trainer Trevor has admired. What is being exchanged between Trevor and Kat is quite clear to Grigory (Anthony Michael Hall) and his young wife, but Trevor and Kat are still reluctant to admit their mutual feelings just because they do not want to complicate their business relationship.
Thanks to their good chemistry on the screen, Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders are funny and spontaneous in their characters’ dynamic interactions. Pearce is both sincere and hilarious whenever his character eagerly talks about his way of life and business, and we cannot help but like this incorrigible but ultimately sweet guy who really believes in what he says. Smulders is plucky and charming with her down-to-earth quality, and her performance here in this film shows that she is capable of a lot more than her recent supporting turn in “The Avengers” (2012).
As the third main character in the film, Kevin Corrigan is also good in what could be a thankless role. Despite his changed financial status, Danny still does not know what to do with his remaining life while not fully recovering from his divorce, and we are not so surprised when he clumsily approaches to Kat at one point. What happens between Trevor and Danny after that is another unexpected thing in the movie, and Corrigan is flawless as going back and forth between the humor and pathos inside his character. As a quirky lawyer who happens to hang around with Danny and Trevor, Giovanni Ribisi is offbeat as usual, and Constance Zimmer, Tishuan Scott, and Anthony Michael Hall add extra humor to the film through their small supporting roles.
Although it meanders from time to time, “Results” is an enjoyable movie with good performances to watch on the whole. As a low-key comedy film mainly driven by characters rather than formulaic plot, it has a leisurely pleasant fun with its colorful characters, and that is more than enough to compensate for its shortcomings. It could do more exercise with more focus, but I am fine with the overall result anyway.