Your garden-variety romantic comedy is a nice girl, a nice guy, and, as Jane Austen once wrote of her characters, "after a little bit of trouble, all that they desire." Everyone's adorably quirky but no one's overtly weird, even though humans are unquestionably strange. It's surprising that not many filmmakers have the guts to craft real, imperfect people, but that's one of the hallmarks of Andrew Bujalski, who hit the scene in the early aughts with "Funny Ha Ha" and "Mutual Appreciation." When I wrote about those films, I asked: "What will Bujalski do when the studios start throwing money at him? Could he maintain a relatively artistic sensibility like Richard Linklater or would he sell out like Wayne Wang?" (Hey, it was 2006.) Now we know, and the results are "Results," an expertly acted oddball gem.
Set against the backdrop of a strip-mall fitness club in Austin, Texas, "Results" stars the great character actor Kevin Corrigan as Danny, a multimillionaire shlub whose decision to get into shape throws him into the orbit of hilariously bossy personal trainer Kat (an impressive Cobie Smulders) and Kat's stubbornly sincere boss Trevor (Guy Pearce, apparently up for anything), with whom she has something casual ... maybe; she's not sure. "Results" isn't much to look at as it chronicles the bizarre love triangle among Danny, Kat, and Trevor, but it's packed with Bujalski's honest, tongue-tied dialogue and as much reaction as there is action. (Corrigan, in particular, is a master of listening.) Throw in the dependably peculiar Giovanni Ribisi as a lawyer with a weed connection, plus Anthony Michael Hall as an intense Russian kettlebell guru, and the romantic comedy takes one more step in the right, truthful direction.