This review originally ran during our coverage of the 2015 South By Southwest Film Festival.
For most people, working out is about one thing. They’ll say it’s for health, or to have more energy, or to do some activity better, when in reality the reason is just to look good. Most romantic comedies follow the same pattern. They claim to be about relationships, or humor, or even love, when in reality they’re usually just about trying to look good.
Fortunately, for Results, this isn’t the case. That isn’t to say that Andrew Bujalski’s film doesn’t look good, as it’s shot well and there are a lot of beautiful people in the cast, but the movie carries a depth that makes it more than your typical romcom.
Trevor (Guy Pearce) is an ambitious gym owner who wants to build his brand but is more concerned with people than money. Kat (Cobie Smulders) is his top trainer whose intensity is loved by her clients until they get sick of all the work. If that happens, she has a major problem with them as she’s a firm believer in treating others as they treat you. Then there’s Danny (Kevin Corrigan), who has more money than he knows what to do with, but was much happier when he was without money and with his wife.
As the three work through trying to find their way, they continually intersect and help/fall in love with each other. There aren’t a lot of revolutionary points to the plot, but each major story beat is done very well, and that makes the majority of the film enjoyable.
Still, sometimes Results feels a bit slow due to the predictability, but most of that is due to the inevitability of the tight story. Twists for the sake of twists are terrible, but it would’ve been nice for a bit more of the story to be surprising. Had the traditional points not been handled in such a deft way, the film could have quickly fallen into being a drag to sit through. But it’s the heart that lies beneath the story that makes for a better-than-average romantic flick.
From the start, the proper mix of comedy and drama is apparent. The best example is with Corrigan’s Danny. A man’s broken soul serves as the jumping off point for much of the humor, but it’s never the joke itself, which is what takes this away from being a straight, and arguably less effective, comedy. We’re shown moments that are very funny, but also extremely heartfelt revelations, and the contrast of the two leads to an interesting story as all the characters grow.
You usually only think of coming of age stories as ones that are told about young people, but I’d say if you wanted to slap a subgenre on this movie, it’d be as much “coming of age” as anything else. You’ve got a trio of characters stuck in their ways, and while those ways aren’t necessarily all terrible, stagnancy never leads to growth. The characters inspire the betterment of each other, and that’s what drives the plot along, leading to an organic story.
While not a perfect film by any means, the plot is light and enjoyable, the performances are tight and the conclusion is satisfying. All of that is far more than can be said for the vast majority of romantic comedies in recent years, so at the very least, Results should be commended for that. In the end, it’s a quality watch, despite not breaking any new ground for stories in this vein.
Results is a light, easy, enjoyable watch, but one you won't be feeling the next day. Basically, it's the exact opposite of a hard workout.