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When Andrew unexpectedly shows up on Ben's doorstep late one night, the two old college friends immediately fall into their old dynamic of heterosexual one-upmanship. To save Ben from domestication, Andrew invites Ben to a party at a sex-positive commune. Everyone there plans on making erotic art films for the local amateur porn festival and Andrew wants in. They run out of booze and ideas, save for one: Andrew should have sex with Ben, on camera. It's not gay; it's beyond gay. It's not porn; it's an art project. The next day, they find themselves unable to back down from the dare. And there's nothing standing in their way - except Ben's wife Anna, heterosexuality, and certain mechanical questions. Written by
As he walks to the hotel room for the final scene, Andrew walks in front of the home of Edith Macefield. Macefield was famous for stubbornly resisting the offers of developers and remaining in her tiny 108-year-old farmhouse while the surrounding properties were turned into a five-story commercial development. See more »
As Ben and Andrew explain to their video camera their story so far, Ben mistakenly refers to Andrew as "Ben". See more »
What a wild life you live, my friend.
Enh. You always have the option of doing what I'm doing, and I don't know that I so much have the option of doing what you're doing.
Ah, it's easy. You just go to a grocery store, you find someone with long hair that's a girl, start kissing her, one thing leads to another. Then you buy her a ring, you get married, you buy a house. And soon enough you're converting your upstairs office into a potential baby room.
Are you fucking serious?
Not yet, but we're ...
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Two straight guys decide to make a porno where they are the ones having intercourse with each other.
Do I have your attention?
Well, that is the premise of Humpday, winner of the Special Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival. After I watched the trailer for this movie I knew that I was going to be in for something very different. Although that is the main storyline of the film there is so much more going on.
Ben (Mark Duplass) lives a quiet life with his wife Anna (Alycia Delmore). They have a nice home, a healthy relationship, and are trying to start a family. One night Ben's old friend Andrew (Joshua Leonard) drops in out of the blue. It's been a long time since the two have spent time together and they have a lot to catch up on.
When Andrew ends up at a girls house he invites Ben over. After drinking too much alcohol, they two friends wind up in a conversation about a local pornography festival where the films are meant to be more artsy than sexual. Ben and Andrew see the only possible way to make a splash would be to film themselves having sex because it would be about their love and how strong their friendship is.
The next day, needless to say the conversation hasn't gone away, and after their hangover's lift, they discuss further about whether or not to go through with their plan or not. Problems arise with Ben wife, manhood being questioned, and the actual act of following through with a plan like this.
This film is more than just about two guys trying to make a porno. It's about what defines a friendship and what the best way of expressing it would be. It's about the difference between doing something because you want to do it or because you are being forced into it. It's about art versus pride. It's about what constitutes a fulfilled life. It's about a lot of things. Yes, two guys making a porno is one of them.
Writer/director Lynn Shelton, who appears as the woman Andrew meets, has created a very personal and intelligent look into something absurd and intoxicating. She films from a documentary, guerrilla style, weaving amongst the characters and sitting with them almost as if they all know that the crew is there. It's sort of like The Office, except the camera is not a character but our portal into this story.
The conversations and situations make the audience go into their uncomfortable zone, stay there a while, and come back out and see how much you've changed. It's such an enjoyable experience. All of the actors but especially Duplass and Leonard as Ben and Andrew make this such a realistic and intimate film. They made me feel like that they actually had been friends for a long time.
I feel like some people, maybe even a lot of people will be uncomfortable watching this, but that is the point. We are uncomfortable because they too are uncomfortable. It's hard to watch people struggle with difficult situations like this, but it is how they work it out that makes it all worth while. I was very moved by how thoughtful and well conceived the film was. This is a rare gem.
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