Results, comedy, rated R, Violet Crown, 1.5 chiles
In What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, Woody Allen’s 1966 sendup of dubbed Asian movies, the evil gangster Wing Fat walks past a row of prostitutes and recognizes one. “This is my mother,” he tells the hero. “We’re very close. Isn’t she sweet? And the best thing about her is, she can really take a punch.” And he gives her a hard right to the gut.
What Allen did was take a Japanese spy movie and dub it with completely irrelevant dialogue, turning a bad thriller into a hilarious comedy about a race to recover the world’s best egg salad recipe. I bring this up for a couple of reasons.
First, the action, such as it is, of Andrew Bujalski’s Results takes off from the arrival of pudgy millionaire Danny (Kevin Corrigan) at a Texas gym owned by Aussie fitness guru Trevor (Guy Pearce). Danny wants to get in shape. “Why?” Trevor asks. “So I can take a punch,” Danny says. It makes no more sense in Bujalski’s “comedy” than it did in Allen’s. And it’s not as funny.
The other way What’s Up, Tiger Lily? is relevant here is that Results might be more entertaining if it were all dubbed into Japanese.
The theme, as it stands, seems to be the futility of the notion that by exercising complete control over our bodies, we can also take control of our lives. Trevor is certainly in enviable shape, and it’s fun to watch Pearce flex and contort through calisthenics admirable for a man approaching the mid-century mark. The top trainer at his gym, Power 4 Life, is Kat (Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother), a lithe, long-limbed woman tough in body and spirit. She and Trevor appear to have a bit of a thing going, but neither of them seems to want to take possession of it, and when she nabs the assignment as Danny’s personal trainer, making house calls to his mansion, she winds up in the sack with him as well. Corrigan gets the best moments, such as they are, spreading his newly-inherited millions with careless abandon, inhaling pizza and beer, and eventually taking a punch to the gut. Giovanni Ribisi turns up as a mumbling lawyer helping Trevor to put together a deal to acquire a larger space for a new, state-of-the-art facility to whip body, mind, and spirit into peak condition.
Results stumbles through a number of ill-defined plot threads, and eventually makes its way to a valentine ending, but it never manages to make any real connection with its audience. There are a few laughs, but they’re eked out parsimoniously over the hour and 45 minutes this movie asks of us. As a comedy, it could use a good egg salad recipe.
— Jonathan Richards
Gym rats: Kevin Corrigan and Guy Pearce