Humpday is the most recent film by writer/director, Lynn Shelton, starring Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard. Although they advertise this movie like a slapstick comedy about two straight guys who make a porn together and then deal with the aftermath, the film is nothing like that. This film is far more intelligent than what you would expect from a l bro-ish comedy about two male friends who come up with the wacky idea of having sex for a porn convention to show how masculine they are. IN the end, it was an intelligent film about two guys discovering who they really are.
Check out the good, the bad, and the plot below…
The film focuses on two college friends, Ben (Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard), who have drifted apart after graduation. Ben has turned into a family man with a wonderful wife, Anna (Alycia Delmore), and a stable job. Andrew has turned into the nomadic, artist type who leads an unplanned life. One night, Andrew shows up at Ben’s house unannounced. The two quickly rekindle their friendship. Andrew meets a woman at a coffee shop, and ends up going to a party at her house with Ben in tow. After a long night of boozing, Ben and Andrew come up with the wonderful idea of making a gay porn together, all in the name of art, for the upcoming porn festival Humpday. The next day, they realize what they have gotten themselves into, but are too competitive to back out of the dare.
- The story: As I said before, the story was much different from what I initially anticipated, but in the best possible way. On the surface it is about two friends making a porn together, but really it is about a self-discovery and reconciling the difference between the self-image and what you actually are. The movie is much different from many films that are coming out, and it was nice to watch something different.
- The naturalism: The way the movie was shot was much different from the norm. The scenes were much longer, and felt like you were peeking in on their conversations. The director, Lynn Shelton, was striving for a natural feel for the film, and she succeeded. The scenes, although a bit outlandish in subject matter, remained realistic in their presentation.
- The cast: The cast of the film was absolutely perfect; they were funny, charming and developed the characters really well. Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard had wonderful chemistry with each other; you really got the sense of who they were. Their friendship didn’t feel contrived at all. The relationship between Mark Duplass and Alycia Delmore is also worth mentioning. They were all funny, relatable, vulnerable and refreshing.
- The novelty of two straight guys having sex with each other: The one part of the film that really bothered me was the idea of two straight guys making a porn together. This is not anything new. In fact, many gay porn actors are actually “straight.” Heterosexual porn actors don’t make that much money, if they go gay, they make 2-3 times more money. Thus, many straight men will be in gay porn just to make more money. The idea of two straight guys making a gay porn wasn’t a revolutionary concept to me. However, they didn’t know all of this at the time, so we’ll have to let that slide.
I will be honest, I really didn’t know what to make of the film when I walked out of it. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. There were some absolutely hysterical moments, but it was a different type of humor than what I wanted from it. Once I analyzed the movie a bit more, I came to appreciate it for what it was, but would never run out to see it again. The film definitely treads the line between being believable and outrageous, but somehow manages to stay within the realm of somewhat believable. I would recommend this film to anyone who wants to see a different type of comedy.
Check out the film in select theaters this Friday, July 24th.
Watch the trailer below…