In a culture where body image is big business, it seems perhaps inevitable that the industry would be parodied in contemporary cinema. Andrew Bujalski’s Results places fitness fetishism front and centre in his quirky comedy, focussing on two star-crossed and emotionally stunted personal trainers, whose healthy lifestyles are shaken to the core by a dysfunctional billionaire client.
Trevor, played by Guy Pearce, is the mastermind behind Power 4 Life, a small fitness firm with mantras he pens and preaches. New client Danny (Kevin Connigan) enters with the aim of learning “how to take a punch”, all awkward slouching and side-eyed discomfort. But Danny has money, so passive-aggresive trainer Kat (How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders) is sent to get the sleaze into shape, resulting in much awkward and toe-curling scenes. “We may disagree on the definition of health”, offers Danny through a cannabis smog while snapping photos of his second pizza.
There are moments of brilliance within the cringing dysfunction; Danny’s attempts at friendship and love are crude and desperate, but Connigan’s dead-pan delivery of the downright bizarre creates mirth in the misery. Pearce is somewhat limited in scope with such a one-dimensional subject, but admirably breathes life into the cardboard cut-out, particularly when exploring the one relationship Trevor is comfortable with: that of man and his dog, Chubby.
Ultimately, though, Results falls short of its initial promise. The parody shifts gears from exaggerated critique to indie-by-numbers, focusing on the love lives of the fitness fanatics as opposed to the absurdity of their scenario in monetised health. Whilst culturally relevant, Bujalski’s comedy provokes not thigh slapping guffaws, but rather the odd snort of surprised laughter. What begins as an awkward cringe-fest of business lingo and creepy hijinks evolves into a promising study of our fetishism of fitness, before veering off into a watered-down schmaltz as the credits roll.
Results is released nationwide on 28th May 2015.
Watch the trailer for Results here: