Writer-director Andrew Bujalski’s Results is an energetic black comedy peppered with a vibrancy that can only be created outside the studio system. Bujalski’s mumblecore background means that there’s an inherent realism woven into the 2015 film and he manages to get the best out of his cast in this off-beat piece of cinematic quirk.
Kevin Corrigan is Danny, an out of shape singleton who has just inherited several million dollars. He hits the vibrant Austin health scene where he meets Trevor (Guy Pearce) and Kat (Cobi Smulders), two fitness instructors with a complicated history. The three characters become intertwined and this results in some hefty realisations for each of them.
Bujalski takes a fast and loose approach to traditional storytelling techniques. There’s a freedom to the way he’s shot his film, playing with the conventions of the traditional three act structure. It’s a brave move, but one that may not pay-off for the majority of an audience expecting to see a romantic comedy. Bujalski’s mumblecore history also means that the film may not be the most stylish on a visual level, although it does have a realism that brings the bright and upwardly mobile environs of Austin to the screen.
Results is littered with complex characters. They may not be the most likeable to ever grace screens but they are interesting. Corrigan makes for an unconventional leading man, a down on his luck everyman who just happens to be a millionaire. The set-up is like the pilot for a TV series, one that may see him attempting to spend his fortune in bizarre ways. Pearce is possibly the most sympathetic character, a man who wants to improve his business and someone who genuinely seems to believe that he’s helping people by getting them in shape. Meanwhile Smulders’ Kat is likely the most erratic, switching from being crazy to being vulnerable on a whim. Each of these actors is given their moment to shine but the shift in character focus often feels uneasy.
Results sees Andrew Bujalski raise the budget and the star power of his lo-fi filmmaking. However, he hasn’t sold his soul to Hollywood and he still has his independent sensibilities. That’s what makes Results stand-out and while it may not cross over into the mainstream it is a darkly funny and at times caustic look at the world of physical fitness.