American director Andrew Bujalski of ‘mumblecore’ fame – the umm-y and ahh-y hipster films much talked about in magazines but barely seen by actual people in cinemas – ups the ante with this smart, subtle comedy.
It’s set in the world of personal training, but don’t let that put you off. Guy Pearce plays dim-but-cute fitness instructor Trevor, who runs a successful bootcamp gym in Texas and makes YouTube videos of his be-your-best-self mantras (‘Choose your misery. You can cry or work!’). He is an adorable knucklehead who babytalks his dog and is in love with his top employee Cat (Cobie Smulders). She’s a trainer you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy – like the Terminator, she runs after the car of a client she spies eating a cupcake.
Things get complicated when an overweight stoner (Kevin Corrigan), who’s just inherited millions of dollars, signs up for one-on-one training with Cat. His goal? ‘I want to take a punch without puking or pleading.’ Like Bujalski’s early mumblecore work, this is sensitive and meandering – and just a little bit patience-testing. But it’s also infectiously sweet and honest-feeling.