Review: Results (Sundance 2015)
REVIEW: Thereís a certain kind of movie I dread writing about at film festivals. Itís not the bad ones Ė those are easy to nitpick. Itís certainly not the good ones Ė those you canít wait to blow five hundred plus words on. Rather, itís the stuff thatís so middle-of-the-road that it barely stirs anything up in you but boredom Ė thatís the stuff thatís a bitch to review under the best of circumstances. When youíre watching 3-4 movies a day, itís really tough.
RESULTS is one of those movies. It was actually one of my more-anticipated films going in, as Iím such a fan of Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders. I also think Kevin Corriganís totally underrated, and here he is in a lead, with an acclaimed writer-director (COMPUTER CHESSí Andrew Bujalski) to boot! What went wrong? Fact is, I dunno. There are a lot of things that are right with RESULTS. The performances range from good to exceptional, the film has a nice visual style, and a propulsive drum score by Justin Rice that keeps things chugging along. Yet it all just did absolutely nothing for me.
At first it feels like Bujalski is trying to make this a kind-of Robert Altman-esque satire of the fitness-industry, but somewhere around the midway point the movie becomes so sentimental that any satirical edge it has evaporates. At this point I thought, well, maybe itís more of buddy-story, with Corrigan and Pearceís characters striking up an unlikely bond over their similar status as lonely, directionless middle-aged men (albeit in Pearceís case, one with a Charles Atlas-physique, and in Corriganís boatloads-of-cash). But then, abruptly, this is dropped as well, with it eventually turning into a romance between Pearce and the much-younger Smulders. This would be fine Ė both are attractive and likable, but curiously the chemistry isnít there. I hesitate to blame them, as the romantic aspect arrives so late in the film it feels like theyíve just been thrown together because theyíre both sexy, so naturally theyíd fall in love. Right?
This all adds up to a weirdly inconsistent film, with the tone shifting constantly. At one point Bujalski even crisscrosses between somber drama (Corriganís emotionally fraught dinner with his ex-wife) to screwball comedy, as Smulders and Pearce bicker over drinks with a jacked Anthony Michael Hall and Brooklyn Decker as married fitness gurus. The ending is especially off-putting; with no sense of resolution at all, but rather just a feeling that the movie had simply run-out-of-gas, hence the need to roll the credits.
Again though, I might be being too harsh on RESULTS given the way I saw it, which was in a festival jam-packed with good-to-great films. Had this been something I reviewed on its own outside of the film festival experience, I might have been fine with it. The elements are all there, but they just donít really mesh together into a cohesive whole. This is more of a curio than a really worthwhile film.