(director/writer: Andrew Bujalski; cinematographer: Matthias Grunsky; editor: Robin Schwartz; music: Justin Rice; cast: Kevin Corrigan (Danny), Guy Pearce (Trevor), Cobie Smulders (Kat), Giovanni Ribisi (Paul), Constance Zimmer (Mandy), Brooklyn Decker (Erin), Anthony Michael Hall (Grigory), Tishuan Scott (Lorenzo); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Houston King/Sam Slater/Paul Bernon; Magnolia Pictures; 2015)
“An engrossing droll relationship comedy by mumblecore filmmaker Andrew Bujalski.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An engrossing droll relationship comedy by mumblecore filmmaker Andrew Bujalski(“Computer Chess”/”Hannah Takes the Stairs”/”Mutual Appreciation”). This is the first of five films Bujalski made with professionals. Again his edgy comedy revolves around a group of socially awkward immature young adults trying to become more responsible as adults.
Danny (Kevin Corrigan) has recently gotten divorced, become filthy rich and feels terrible. It seems money hasn’t brought him happiness. Trying exercise as a relief, Danny goes to the local gym and is befriended by the fitness-guru gym owner Trevor (Guy Pearce) and plunks down a payment for a year’s worth of private sessions with the acerbic personal trainer Kat ( Cobie Smulders). She’s dissatisfied with her personal life and compensates for that in her high-strung work-out program. These three characters are clueless as to what motivates them. Danny wants to bang Kat. She wants a serous romance with Trevor. And Trevor wants money to expand his business. They each want something the other has that they don’t.
The smart-ass pic suggests that having goals is fine and working to meet those goals is also fine. But it more clearly tells us that the goals might be artificial barriers that block what is what we really need that emanates from our heart. The clever comedy, so much sharper than the usual Hollywood rom/com, leaves us with the message that we all have things to work out for ourselves and that getting into good physical shape might be nice but is not necessarily the best thing we can do.
REVIEWED ON 11/7/2015 GRADE: B+