Evan Slead ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Movies Editor
When a director that has created a specific tone or identity in their films leans into the commercial world there is bound to be some controversy. When working with the more improvised “mumblecore” tone, there has to be a solid balance and stamp by the director to make the general audiences understand. The latest film from director Andrew Bujalski has his stamp all over it, but not as deep as expected. Results explores the often misunderstood world of self-help and exposes those who partake in it. While the film has the more subtle and character driven humor of Bujalski’s previous films, the attempt of a more straightforward plot mixed with occasional dreamlike sequences made it a confusing and quirky ride.
Danny (Kevin Corrigan) is a desperately lonely, out of shape, and lazy millionaire recently dumped by his wife. Planning to turn his life around, he visits Power 4 Life gym owned and operated by the hopelessly optimistic Trevor (Guy Pearce). When Kat (Cobie Smulders) demands to take on more clients at the gym, she begins a torrid relationship with Danny that makes her question everything in life. Despite Trevor wanting his life to fall completely into a beautiful picture, he lets Danny and Kat push him in directions and create results he wasn’t exactly expecting.
The film has many moments that flash Bujalski’s grin at the audience which are always welcome. As Trevor dreams of expanding his philosophy on “gyms”, there are dream-like sequences that pop into scenes that serve to show his mindset but still become part of the plot. These moments reveal a true skill that Bujalski possesses over most directors and are the scenes that he should have pushed more. The tonal balance between his previous films and this more commercial attempt don’t match up. The improvisational moments from actors like Giovanni Ribisi and Kevin Corrigan are successful, but attempts from Cobie Smulders don’t always land well. Overall, Results is an enjoyable film that has moments of Bujalski’s voice that work well, but just not enough of them to make it his best.
Overall Grade: C+
The Independent Film Festival of Boston runs through April 29th. Visit iffboston.org for more information.