Results caption
Kevin Corrigan and Cobie Smulders in “Results,” playing at the Shattuck Cinemas
Kevin Corrigan and Cobie Smulders in “Results,” playing at the Shattuck Cinemas

Chiseled dude bros (or is that ‘dudebros’? The Oxford English Dictionary demurs on this point). Traditionally beautiful women. Meet cutes at the gym. People working out (though thankfully sans legwarmers). Taken together, these sound like the ingredients for a cinematic disaster. So what’s the actual result for Results (opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, June 5)?

Nominated for prizes at SXSW and Sundance 2015, Results is a low on ambition, not very funny, but ultimately harmless romantic comedy-drama with a decent cast. It’s the sort of film destined to fill out the program at your local independent film festival and then go into rotation on cable for a few years. 

Aussie Guy Pearce is miscast as Trevor, the ambitious founder and operator of Power 4 Life Gym in Austin, Texas. His prize employee is the intense Kat (Cobie Smulders), a woman at least 15 years his junior who, of course, has been sleeping with the boss. He also employs a bisexual gigolo named Lorenzo (Tishuan Scott), an intriguing character who unfortunately disappears after the film’s opening reel.

Despite her reputation as a fitness miracle worker, Kat has a way of burning bridges with both clients and lovers — and as Results begins, it’s clear her relationship with Trevor is currently on hiatus. However, when mysterious multi-millionaire Danny (Kevin Corrigan) signs up for private workouts at his desolate McMansion, romance’s tectonic plates slowly begin moving again.

Writer-director Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, which wasn’t) is considered the king of mumblecore, the indie subgenre famously characterized by low affect performances and so-called natural dialogue that frequently ends up sounding fairly pretentious. He’s ditched the mumblecore approach for this film, but by and large the results aren’t much better than previously.

Pearce is always a good actor, but he’s simply too long in the tooth to be convincing as a Down Under Jack Lalanne (yes, I know Lalanne lived to be 96, but still). Smulders makes for a decent sparring partner, but her character is relentlessly nasty and rude, and it’s hard to understand what Trevor (or anyone else, for that matter) sees in her.

Results’ bright spot is Corrigan’s Danny, a refugee from New York trying for a fresh start out west. At loose ends after the death of his mother and a nasty divorce, Danny can’t quite make up his mind about how to solve his problems – though he does have a bottomless pit of money available to spend on the project. A traditional method actor and a veteran of Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas, Corrigan is very, very good.

A bizarre cameo appearance by one time brat-packer Anthony Michael Hall (as Trevor’s Russian competition, Grigory) aside, there’s really not much else to recommend Results. You probably won’t dislike the film – you’ll simply find it forgettable and, well, perhaps a little funny strange.

Footnote: I’ve never been to Texas and have no plans to go there, but Austin’s against the grain reputation precedes it. Consequently, I was surprised to see the city looks a lot like any other Middle American burg, complete with strip malls, windblown empty lots, and ranch-style tract houses. Where’s the weirdness I’ve read so much about?

Berkeleyside’s film writer John Seal writes a weekly movie recommendation column at Box Office Prophets, as well as a column in The Phantom of the Movies’ Videoscope, an old-fashioned paper magazine, published quarterly.

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Freelancer John Seal is Berkeleyside’s film critic. A movie connoisseur with a penchant for natty hats who lives in Oakland, John writes a weekly film recommendation column at Box Office Prophets, as...