Romantic comedies have been trying to turn the tables around on their own genre, spice it up, change things around. And Results most definitely does, making it a completely non-traditional romcom in every sense of the word, but one that doesn’t always work because it gets so caught up in the trivial, and strangely irrelevant relationship with a third character. The film has some good individual scenes, but doesn’t flow as easily as it could.

Trevor (Guy Pearce) is a personal trainer and founder of his gym Power 4 Life. He’s motivated, highly believes in what he’s selling, and is looking to expand his business. On an average day, a new client named Danny (Kevin Corrigan) stops in looking to start going to the gym because he wants to be able to “take a punch.” After introducing Danny to Kat (Cobie Smulders), a constantly irate woman who becomes Danny’s personal trainer, things get a little strange.

See, Danny is miserable because his wife left him. And even though he’s acquired a wealth of money after his mother’s death, he’s still unhappy and thinks going to the gym might possibly save him from his misery and new-found boredom. But after Danny tries to start a relationship with Kat, who completely pushes him away, he and Trevor start bonding but all the while, Trevor’s personal and business life begin to get way too complicated.

Results is one of those films where you perhaps understand what the director and screenwriter are trying to say, but are not quite sure how they got to their… results, for lack of a better term. There are a lot of events happening in the film. There’s the romance aspect, the gym business aspect, and then there’s the complicated relationship between the three characters that never truly irons itself out enough for you to wrap your head around.

The basic premise is interesting, but some of the plot points are not. Danny winds up having a relationship with both personal trainers, but things get out of hand too fast and a lot of what’s going on sometimes happens too fast for anything to develop properly. A lot of the drama is contrived and the romance between Pearce and Smulders not fully articulate or well-developed to hold the film on its own merit. There could have been more focus on their history, more scenes where it’s articulated or shown their attraction for each other, because there isn’t very much chemistry or real tension between them.

Ultimately, the film falls a bit flat. And though it should be commended for not following the typical romcom route and including other plot devices, these things are also responsible for taking away from the development of the lead characters. The film often lacks an overall cohesion, and has too much going on in terms of story. Corrigan’s character makes the relationship between Pearce and Smulders a bit more dynamic, but it doesn’t really add that much to it, and neither does the inclusion of all the technical business aspects that deter from the main story, which takes a bit too long to get started. Underwhelming and unfortunately unsatisfying.

Sundance Premiere Date: January 27, 2015 | Director and Screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski | Cast: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Anthony Michael Hall, Brooklyn Decker | Genre: Romantic Comedy

 

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Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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