Results is a conscious step towards the mainstream for director Andrew Bujalski, who cut his teeth on indie “mumblecore” features like Funny Ha Ha before wowing critics [who are not me] with 2013’s eccentric, experimental Computer Chess. This is decidedly more conventional fare – with recognisable actors (Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan) in a gym-centric rom-com – if still a couple feet away from normal.
The tension between accessibility and artiness keeps Results interesting. The characters, for instance, initially seem like crude caricatures – the obsessive gym owner, the schlubby rich dude – but they’re smoothed out by naturalistic performances. The rom-com drippiness, meanwhile, bristles with the spikiness of Bujalski’s formal flourishes: his effortless use of wipes and split-screen, his deft command of montage (in both senses of the word). There’s one scene in particular, cutting between Pearce and Smulders’ jogging soundtracks, that’s astounding in the way these kinda films aren’t.
While Results is a long way from boring, I nevertheless found it somewhat unsatisfying. The film’s ‘funny’ in the kind of way that never earns a laugh, while its reflections of the contemporary cult of self-improvement came across a little shallow. Perhaps Bujalski and I just aren’t oscillating on the same frequency.