Sundance 2009 Review: Lynn Shelton's Humpday
by Alex Billington
January 17, 2009
Thought it couldn't get any gayer than Milk? Guess again. Well, that's not entirely true, but the concept of Humpday may throw some audiences for a loop, but I promise it's worth it in the end. In short, when an old college buddy unexpectedly shows up late one night, his arrival causes his friend's happily married life to take a wild spin. The two male buddies decide, while inebriated and in the company of other gays, to shoot a gay porn together just to prove their love for one each other. Don't worry, it's rather light-hearted and tremendously funny and should please audiences in a way they've never been pleased before.
Humpday stars fellow filmmaker Mark Duplass (one half of the Duplass Brothers) as Ben and newcomer Alycia Delmore as his wife Anna. Joshua Leonard plays Ben's old college buddy Andrew and reminds me a bit too much of Zach Galifianakis. All hell breaks loose after the two soberly decide to still go through with the "plan" and Ben must break the news to his wife. The three have stunningly realistic chemistry that completely fooled me. In fact, this could have been passed off of as documentary (or mockumentary) because it literally seemed like they weren't actors, but were actually themselves in this situation.
First and foremost, Humpday is the purest definition of an independent film, shot on a shoestring budget. But as long as you can appreciate solid filmmaking and witty humor, the budget shouldn't be a concern. The biggest problems were that some of the dramatic scenes felt much too drawn out and unnecessarily long, and overall the film lost its steam by the end. While it's funniest at its beginning, the pay off has to be as equally funny. I won't dare say whether or not they go through with it, but the end just wasn't as satisfying. Although if you're in the mood for a great indie comedy, Humpday is one not to miss.
Sundance Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Reader Feedback - 18 Comments
sounds like a lot of buddy comedies today (and a lot of comedies overall)... they are funny at the start but once they try to tie in some sort of story/tension/drama it all crumbles i think the last comedy i saw that didn't was superbad
Janny on Jan 17, 2009
dont care how light hearted it is, fucking sick of gay shit everywhere.
Cody on Jan 17, 2009
Did you SERIOUSLY just write "...it's worth it in the end" while reviewing a film about homosexuals?
dRailer on Jan 17, 2009
"Thought it couldn't get any gayer than Milk? Guess again" i get that you're probably really excited to be at sundance, but snarky lines like that are sincerely offputting alex. i see myself checking this site less frequently and i think it's for that reason.
real talk on Jan 17, 2009
@ #2 - Come on guy do you REALLY have to make prejudice comments like that? That's like saying "I'm sick of seeing niggers everywhere." Frankly, it's just plain rude, and shows that you're ignorant. @ #4 - Don't get so offended, it's not like he said "gay people ruined the planet" or something really offensive like that, he's just making a tongue-in-cheek joke at the fact that two movies with gay themes show up around the same time. @ #3 - I almost got offended, but then I read it again, and lol'd
Kail on Jan 17, 2009
Like how can you even watch movies like this, "they decide to shoot a porno to show there love for each other" WHAT THE FUCK IS AMERICAS DEAL!? and that was retorical dont want any hippies in here with your "if they love each other then its ok" bullshit its not ok its fucking disgusting and immorale and I am sick of seeing it every where. ITS LIKE THAT GODDMAN SOUTH PARK EPISODE!
Cody on Jan 17, 2009
I really, really dont like homosexuality at all, I will have nothing to do with this
Scott McHenry on Jan 17, 2009
I really, really like homosexuality! THANK FUCK AMERICA'S DEAL IS MAKING INDEPENDENT FILMS ABOUT GAY SEX! I'm loving this gay shit everywhere!
Derek on Jan 17, 2009
Jesus people, I saw the premier of this movie yesterday and it was fantastic. I've never been on this site before but it seems the reviewer should get his story straight before reviewing it. This is not a movie about homosexuality in the least bit. It's about an amateur porn contest called Humpfest and the two buddies wanted to do something artsy. They couldn't think of anything more artsy than two straight guys have sex together. It was very well done but it definitely plays better for men than women as the men in the audience put themselves in that situation and decide whether or not they could go through with it. Their discussions about whether or not to do it were classic and if you take the swearing out of the film, it would be rated PG. Gay or straight....if it's a good movie it's a good movie....give me a break. "The two male buddies decide, while inebriated and in the company of other gays, to shoot a gay porn together just to prove their love for one each other." .....there is so much wrong with this statement. In the company of other gays....neither guy was gay....to prove their love for each other, no to do something artistic by having to hetro guys having sex on camera.....did you see the movie or just review the write up in the film guide?
Jeff on Jan 17, 2009
"I really, really dont like homosexuality at all, I will have nothing to do with this Scott McHenry" And yet you took the time to open this thread to make a comment. Knowing it was about homosexuals. You're a piece of work. I'm sure no one gives a shit who or what you want nothing to do with. I know I don't. Fuck off.
Nunya on Jan 17, 2009
Actually I'm good friends with some homosexual guys, I don't like their homosexuality but I like the guys and dont hold it against them. Maybe you shouldn't hold my view against me. I do agree my comment was a little harsh and I'm sorry. Nunya, don't agree with you but I respect you and do give a shit about who or what you want to do with, and please don't fuck off.
Scott McHenry on Jan 17, 2009
Artsy!!!? Lmao. Yo how can any man sit voluntarily and watch 2 guys have sex? Second if it was as real as you say about their connection on film, uh!!! Though I have nothing against gays and the film may be funny, it's still 2 guys planning to have sex. That ain't artsy. That's Homo
Black Dynamite on Jan 17, 2009
@ #11 - you sing it sister!
Derek on Jan 18, 2009
You people with the anti-gay slurs are quite frightening. First, the sex in this film is simulated. Just like any film showing people having sex. I'm sure most of you morons don't even know what that means, so look it up. Second, no one is asking you to watch this. So go back to your rebel flag waving.
What the fuck? on Jan 18, 2009
So simulated homo sex is ok with u? Oh aiight?
Black Dynamite on Jan 18, 2009
"So simulated homo sex is ok with u? Oh aiight? Black Dynamite on Jan 18, 2009" It doesn't bother me. And I'm not so insecure I go on a website and make juvenile comments calling the film "homo". Really Columbo!? It's a film about gay people. But I'm sure you're o.k. watching two gay women go at it. Aren't you? If so, that makes you a hypocrite.
What the fuck? on Jan 18, 2009
Alex, your comment about "any gayer than Milk" is insensitive at best, and downright homophobic at worst.
Nick on Jan 19, 2009
Hi, I saw the movie too and I think you should re-write this review because it is entirely inaccurate and (shockingly) causing quite a lot of controversy. The movie isn't about gay people. (Also, who cares if it was, why is everyone all bigot-y about it?) It's about straight dudes. It's about the boundaries of sexuality. It's about how masculine heterosexuality is shaped and challenged by people who identify as that. It's also about heterosexual relationships and how men and women negotiate those relationships! It's really funny! The acting was really fantastic! The end, in my opinion, was totally moving and smart and funny. Any straight guy who is honest with himself will relate to the feelings the characters express! Sometimes I get annoyed with film reviewers because it seems like they are not smart enough to understand the films they are reviewing and it get it all wrong, and then people believe them even though they inaccurately review the film...
Me on Jan 20, 2009
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