Results (2015 Sundance)

9 Feb

Premiering in this year’s Sundance Film Festival‘s US Dramatic Competition, Andrew Bujalski‘s new dramedy Results is equal parts heartfelt, witty, and genuinely hilarious. Featuring standout performances from Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders and Kevin Corrigan, the film tells the story of the Power 4 Life gym, owned and managed by Trevor (Guy Pearce). He dreams of opening up a new location and branching out his business a bit to rival his competitors. Who knows, maybe a future  location downtown might even have an on-site juice bar or a new yoga room?  Trevor’s business plans get mixed up with that of Kat (Cobie Smulders) his coworker who has taken on a new ultra-wealthy client Danny (Kevin Corrigan) who is set on getting back in shape at any cost.  The results (no pun intended) of these eccentric characters’ lives being mixed together creates some highly entertaining scenarios, like when Danny develops a crush on Kat and tries to bribe her with marijuana, or when Kat and Trevor have spontaneous late night drinks with rival gym owner Gregory (Anthony Michael Hall).

Bujalski’s work is infamous for being a mashup of vinaigrettes that encompass an overall story, and Results has received its fair share of criticism for not having an even tone. I panned Bujalski’s previous film, Computer Chess for that every reason upon my first viewing. After some thought however, and a much-needed second viewing, I realized Bujalski’s dedication to small details and his ability to avoid cliches and tropes makes him one of the most exciting indie directors out there. The writing in Results is near-perfect; you get a sense that these aren’t just movie characters, but living and breathing people with their own set of complicated romantic desires and needs, and Bujalski captures them like a fly on the wall at their very best (and worst) moments.

Besides being Bujalski’s most commercial and most accessible film, Results might also be his funniest. It’s a fantastic and witty film – the kind of thing you would expect Wes Anderson or Woody Allen to come up with – one with such fresh energy and endearing characters hard not to like.

Bottom Line: Bujalski’s best film by far, Results might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those looking for some lighthearted-but-complex storytelling should look no further.

Rating: 8/10 

Similar to: Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Rushmore (1998), Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012)

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