Humpday opens with a pair of breeders in bed. A youngish married couple, Ben (mumblecordeon Mark Duplass) and Anna (Alycia Delmore), confess that theyre too tired to procreate that night. As if in response, the doorbell rings at 2 a.m., and Bens long-lost college buddy, Andrew (Blair Witch Project survivor Joshua Leonard), stumbles in from deepest Mexico. Anna watches the unexpected bromantic action with grim incredulity. Reuniting an uptight married man with a footloose old pal, Lynn Sheltons third feature offers a (much) more extreme version of Kelly Reichardts Old Joy, also a sort of buddy movie, also shot in Seattle. In this case, the lost weekend is steeped in sexual anxiety. Prompted by news of an amateur porn festivalsponsored by a local alt-weeklyBen finds himself proposing to co-star with show-off Andrew in a mad art project, dude-on-dude action, totally straight, yet somewhere beyond gay. The only problem: Just who is going to bone whom? Having thus invested its protagonists in a game of chicken, Humpday delivers some excellent situation comedy, but the movie is actually less a queer comedy than a satiric view of macho. Appreciative as Shelton may be of her dudes, she has another agenda. Each in his way, the guys have been freaked by a manifestation of assertive female sexuality. As for what happens? Dont ask, I wont tell. Suffice it to say that, last seen beating their midriffs like apes, Ben and Andrew confront the fear but not the desire.
July 17-23, 2009