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Dustin Putman

Results  (2015)
2 Stars
Directed by Andrew Bujalski.
Cast: Cobie Smulders, Guy Pearce, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Michael Hall, Brooklyn Decker, Constance Zimmer, Tishuan Scott, Elizabeth Berridge, Zoe Graham, David Bernon.
2015 – 105 minutes
Rated: Rated R (for language, some sexual content and drug use).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman for, May 15, 2015.
"Results" begins as one movie and ends as something different. Instead of averting expectations for the good, however, it regresses from an involving, free-form, modernistic slice-of-life about the lives of personal trainers into a trite, conventional, barely identifiable shadow of its former self. Cobie Smulders (2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron") is better than the weirdly inscrutable role she has been written as Kat, a 29-year-old trainer at the Power 4 Life gym founded and owned by Trevor (Guy Pearce). When she takes on private sessions at the home of wealthy, recently divorced new client Danny (Kevin Corrigan), the two of them become friendly. When he crosses a line and tries to pay Kat for a romantic relationship, she promptly ends their business transaction. This proves to be one of the catalysts for Kat's decision to quit as a personal trainer and refocus on a different career. Now that they are no longer boss and employee, it also leaves open the door for her and ex-flame Trevor to consider having another go together.

For roughly the first hour, "Results" is unforced and amiable. Writer-director Andrew Bujalski is at his best when he is simply observing his three main protagonists and their loose, observant interactions. The lives and business inner workings of personal trainers have rarely been represented in feature films, and it is initially engrossing simply watching them go about their days and working with their clients. Unfortunately, Bujalski has other plans for where he wants to take his screenplay, opting to turn his attention toward an unconvincing love story between Kat and Trevor that not for a second works. As the narrative becomes choppy and loses focus the further it wades into shoehorned rom-com formula, it becomes increasingly apparent that these two are not right for each other. As sympathetic as Kat is early on, she is revealed to have an unappealingly abrasive side even as Trevor keeps making eyes at her and tell her he loves her. Meanwhile, Danny pathetically continues to use his bank account to get what he wants and experiences no detectable epiphany or personal arc from start to finish. How the viewer comes to see and think about these characters is at sharp contrast with a story trajectory that requires the people on screen be cared about and liked. Whatever Bujalski's intentions may have been for penning his script with such a prickly undercurrent, it irreparably hurts the bottom line.
© 2015 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman

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