Director: Andrew Bujalski
Stars: Cobie Smulders, Guy Pearce
4 (out of 5) Globes
The opening credits of Andrew Bujalski’s “Results” look like nothing he’s ever done before. In a way it, and much of what follows, is as weird as the indie filmmaker god’s previous film, “Computer Chess,” an experimental mindf— filmed with a video camera from the 1970s. Underneath a bouncy score, slick tracking shots capture bodies mid-work-out. Sometimes there’s even a screen wipe. This is a far cry from Bujalski’s “Funny Ha Ha,” “Mutual Appreciation” and “Beeswax,” all aggressively microbudgeted, handcrafted character studies that helped ring in a not-quite-movement of indies lumped under the irksome name “mumblecore.”
Bujalski has always hated that term, and sure enough there’s almost none of those films’ inarticulate word vomits can be found in “Results,” which has a budget, a tripod and several name actors. It’s, ostensibly, a love triangle rom-com, and two of its lead characters are the opposite of the insecure real-seeming people he tends to showcase. Kat (Cobie Smulders) is a personal trainer prone to curse-strewn proclamations. She works for Trevor (Guy Pearce), a gym rat with his own gym, who’s looking for an even bigger one. Kat even winds up unexpectedly, perhaps inexplicably, drawn to Danny (Kevin Corrigan), a “pudgy and mellow” (his description) new divorcee newly gifted with millions in inheritance. He whimsically, semi-assedly hires Kat to get him into shape; instead he gets her high and they suddenly, shockingly have a fling.
That’s just the first act. It seems it might become a tale of mismatched lovers — only that Danny gets immediately weird with Kat and Kat throws him to the curb. And then Kat disappears, for so long it feels she may never return. Suddenly it’s impossible to tell where this is going. (You probably felt this earlier, like when you realized this was a rom-com co-starring Kevin Corrigan.) That’s in part because Bujalski himself seems unsure of how to tell a clean, mainstream story without reverting to old, less widely accessible habits. Thing is, Bujalski seems to know this and uses that to turn “Results” into an experiment as rich and strange, in its way, as “Computer Chess,” turning it into a Brundlefly mash-up of a nice, approachable, cute indie and something messier and far less predictable or classifiable.