Cobie Smulders and Guy Pearce in Results (Ryan Green/Magnolia Pictures)
If Andrew Bujalski did not write Results specifically with Guy Pearce in mind, he somehow stumbled on the perfect combination of actor and role. The Australian star – best known for L.A. Confidential and Memento before he recently reemerged as a valued character actor – was a competitive bodybuilder before he became an actor, making him the ideal choice to play the aging, hardbody gym owner whose life is turned upside down by a wealthy new client.
Pearce inhabits the role of Trevor so fully that it seems to give glimpses of what happens to men like Pearce who don’t achieve his fame or success. Even as he heads into his fifties, Trevor maintains his dedication to fitness and the optimism of a much younger man but cannot escape the inevitability of aging. Everything about Pearce’s performance suggests a case of arrested development, from drum set to his frat-pad existence. Bujalski and Pearce together create a character study that might seem sad if not for the warmth and understanding both bring to Trevor.
Results is ostensibly a love triangle involving Pearce’s Trevor, Cobie Smulders’ fitness trainer Kat and the aimless multimillionaire Danny (Kevin Corrigan), but the film resists the simplicity of the romantic comedy form for character development. Having recently ended her long run with “How I Met Your Mother,” Smulders certainly knows how to navigate the role of the love interest, but she gives the character a brittle edge that makes her more compelling.
Even better is Corrigan as a lonely man who recently came into a fortune and uses this wealth to purchase the intimacy he lacks. Much of the humor of Results comes from his interaction with the two fitness fanatics whose lifestyles clash with his own tendency toward laziness, and how he can still use his wealth to manipulate them. No matter how dedicated the two trainers might be, money still overpowers muscle. Film and television stalwarts Giovanni Ribisi, Constance Zimmer and a wickedly funny Anthony Michael Hall, miles apart from his Brat Pack persona, do solid work supporting the three leads.
Results is an adept study of lives hampered by a lack of intimacy that softens its message through warmth and compassion for its characters. It may be a portrait of people who dedicate themselves to building their muscles, but never forgets that the most important muscle of them all is the heart.
Now in theaters
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