Entertainment

“Results” gets results with good cast, off-kilter style

What It’s About

Just when you think you’ve seen every high concept in romantic comedies, and original plots are hard to come by, the quirky “Results” ambles your way, via the Sundance Film Festival.

In this unconventional character-driven comedy about relationships, writer-director Andrew Bujalski takes us in new directions we don’t expect.

The off-kilter style works because of an extremely likable cast. Guy Pearce (“L.A. Confidential”) shows us a different side but keeps his Australian accent, as Trevor, the very buff owner of a fitness center, Power 4 Life, in Austin, Texas.

All those endorphins make him prone to self-help babble, and he wants to be a lifestyle guru too, hoping to expand his gym into a motivational mecca.

He’s keen on a staff member, Kat (Cobie Smulders), a hot-tempered, wound-tight trainer, who prefers casual hook-ups over a deeper commitment.

A strange romantic triangle develops when a tubby rich guy Danny (Kevin Corrigan) walks into the gym one day, eager to get in shape so he can “take a punch.” Then he goes home and orders an extra-large pizza.

Danny falls for the beautiful but prickly Kat, which irks Trevor. These three flawed people become intertwined as their personal and professional lives take turns.

Performances

Corrigan, a versatile character actor (“Goodfellas,” “Superbad”), is funny again — yay! Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”) is interesting even when she is unlikable, and Pearce shows another facet, not to mention a killer physique.

The addition of Anthony Michael Hall (“National Lampoon’s Vacation”) as a Russian master of the kettleball is inspired, and casting Sports Illustrated supermodel Brooklyn Decker as his wife is even better. Put Giovanni Ribisi in the mix, and we have an exciting cast that delivers.

What Works

The performers transform what could have been a garden-variety oddball rom-com into an engaging piece, despite it retaining some of its shagginess.

What Doesn’t Work

Those who prefer more regimented pieces may be exasperated by its free-form style.

Danny moves to Texas, newly divorced and very wealthy from an inheritance, but there’s no explanation why he selected Austin to settle in, and you don’t know why Guy Pearce’s Trevor did either.

Just don’t expect questions to be answered. You will be entertained, however.

3 stars out of 4

Director: Andrew Bujalski

Starring: Guy Pearce, Kevin Corrigan, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Michael Hall, Giovanni Ribisi, Brooklyn Decker

Rated: R for language, some sexual content and drug use

Length: 1:45

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