I have long been a fan of Guy Pearce, whose penchant for taking on small but meaningful roles has created one of the most diverse and surprising resumes for an actor of his caliber. Each week in 2020, I’ll be reviewing one of my Guy’s films, exploring his wild career.
Trevor (Guy Pearce) owns Power 4 Life, a “four-quadrant” wellness center, and Kat (Cobie Smulders) is his best personal trainer on staff. Trevor is a true believer in leading clients to their perfect body; she just works there. They slept together briefly a while back but work well together professionally. Are there unspoken feelings? There always are.
Danny (Kevin Corrigan) is a recently divorced, recently wealthy slob who wants to get into shape “so he can take a punch.” He found videos of Kat doing squats on YouTube, and enters Power 4 Life in hopes of training with her and maybe dating her. It’s a little creepy, but she’s not fooled. She trains him anyway. The three become entangled. Danny’s money, and what it means for Power 4 Life, changes everything.
Results could be described as a minor film by Andrew Bujalski, a mumblecore pioneer with his film Funny Ha Ha. It’s sandwiched in his filmography between Computer Chess and Support the Girls, both critical darlings that also follow the lives of everyday working people trying to find some order within their mundane lives. Like many movies, it seems to have more or less disappeared into the bowels of streaming hell — where I found it while perusing films starring Pearce. A shame.
Pearce and Smulders both do great jobs playing perfectly normal characters. Likable? As likable as anyone, if you have empathy for their middle-class plight. Trevor’s belief in bringing wellness to himself and clients supplants his other social commitments; he has a backstory and, in fact, a grown child who doesn’t factor into the story as anything other than a sign that Power 4 Life is filling gaps he refuses to reveal. That rings true. Wellness as a lifestyle requires compulsive adherence to a regime of varying degrees of intensity; here, Trevor proselytizes a version created by health guru Grigory (Anthony Michael Hall), a master lifter. His system is not much different from any other fad diet or exercise routine, boiling down to eating right, exercising and being as emotionally honest with yourself as you can be.
Which Trevor isn’t, of course. Again: Unspoken feelings.
There’s a lot of that going on in Results, which patiently puts its protagonists through miscommunications and situations that bleed with the emotional truth of relatively well-balanced people having difficulty figuring out how to proceed in their stalled-out lives. The smallness of it all is where the pleasure appears. Pearce’s resume is filled with roles whose big emotions boil beneath the surface (or explode outward in charismatic displays of character). Trevor is basically a normal guy, with a life driven by an intense belief that ultimately allows him to help other people while helping himself. Sure, the woman he’s sort of in love with doesn’t understand, but what’s a normal life without a little conflict? If you don’t challenge yourself in life, you’ll never be satisfied with the results.