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2/10
"Humpday"
Colin George6 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"Humpday," Lynn Shelton's indie about straight men attempting gay porn for an erotic film festival, has been praised for its honest portrayal of male relationships, but any goodwill I had for the film was squandered on the intensely dislikable protagonist, the (come on) unbelievable plot line, and complete lack of dramatic payoff. "Humpday" is a stillborn Sundance fiasco with few if any redeeming qualities.

The premise, while certainly original, takes shape only after overcoming a rickety stepladder of clichéd comic situations. You know them: crazy old friend needs a place to crash, husband forgets wife's special dinner, husband lies, digs himself deeper. The situations might have been forgivable in an ends-justify-the-means sort of way, but the film is being sold on its premise and its title, and fails to deliver as advertised.

The principal cast is small and they argue a lot. There's Ben (Mark Duplass), the idiot husband who plays both sides, either blaming his wild friend for his own decisions or condescendingly touting his "great" relationship with his wife as a wildcard for his reckless behavior, his buddy Andrew (Joshua Leonard), the slovenly, worldly hipster whose artsy lesbian acquaintances spark the drunken conversation that leads to the auspicious idea, and Ben's eternally forgiving wife, Anna (Alycia Delmore), whose ability to tolerate her husband's stupidity is surely her greatest asset. Most of their dialogue is improvised, and the film frequently feels more like six fifteen minutes scenes than a properly paced comedic feature.

The laughs are few and far between the clunky roundabout verbal tennis matches, and are completely undercut by the characters. It's assumed we feel Ben and Andrew's friendship at least peripherally, and the filmmaker portrays them as lovable, misguided heroes, though the 'misguided' bit is the only part that really seeps through.

Worse yet, the script only lamely attempts to legitimize Ben or Andrew's inexplicable desire to see the act to its completion. Even sober, neither will back out of having sex with the other, in what we can only assume is the female writer/director's misinformed representation of machismo. And when Ben tells his wife, "I'm not sure why I want to do this," it reads as a screenwriter's confession. The two behave like stubborn children for an hour, only to somewhat appropriately chicken out when the moment arrives, and the film becomes more an examination of exceedingly weak characters than their bond of friendship as a result.

"Humpday" brings very little to the independent film scene, and is never as funny or controversial as the trailer might lead you to believe. Truth told, the film plays it safe, reducing its homosexual content to the type of jokes you would expect in any given PG-13 sex comedy. There's precious little genuine human interaction on display, and while the cop- out ending imagines itself a more profound statement than its alternative, it ultimately cancels out the only interesting thing the film has going for it. It's a reaction I couldn't anticipate, but I've never been so disappointed by a lack of gay porn.
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6/10
Starts well, goes downhill, ends prematurely.
Shuggy23 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This film promises a lot, delivers some, but then tails away. At the end I wondered if they had run out of money. The two main characters are likable and different, and you can see why they would get on, if not get it on. The setup is gentle and convincing. The tension between Ben (Mark Duplass) and Anna (Alycia Delmore) is beautifully built up, so the moment she learns what Ben and Andrew (Joshua Leonard) have planned is the high spot of the film. From there it's a slow slide downhill. What happens is probably what would happen, but it's strangely unsatisfying. One reason is that the last half hour or more is stuck in a hotel room, "very beige" as Andrew says, more or less. Five minutes more could have wrapped it up so much better: * if we had seen Anna's reaction to Ben's version of events. * if we had seen the Dionysiacs' reaction to Andrew's version of events (in fact those two could have made a nice point-counterpoint) * if they had gone to Humpday and seen what they were up against. If they had persuaded Anna to go, her reaction would have been really interesting.

One problem for a gay viewer (and this film is likely to be touted to a gay audience) is that the central issue - sex between men - carries so much more tension than it need. And sex between straight men? The vids are full of it.

(I learnt something useful near the beginning. If someone is texting during a movie, a good way to make them stop is to shine a torch in their face and tell them to stop or leave. A little LED torch on a keyring works well.)
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3/10
Too sad with not enough payoff
Lenoir-225 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The bulk of the film for me felt like having a heart to heart talk with a lover which isn't really something that I want to pay money to do. I was constantly feeling bad for the things that the characters were putting each other through. While I found the interactions to be realistic, it was so strenuous! It was nice to get a laugh once the two guys tried in a half-assed manner to get down to business, but then there was the sadness that again showed up once the two started to realize that they were going to give up yet another thing. They're locked into that same pattern of not being able to follow through with things.

I'm really disappointed by this film. Good acting, annoying camera direction, and a plot device that could easily have fit a 90 minute film, but just couldn't seem to the way it was envisioned. Ah well. Oh, and it was too weird realizing that was Josh from Blair Witch!
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7/10
NOT about homophobia!
ekeby5 September 2010
It's simplistic and inaccurate to say this is a movie about homophobia. The two guys are not homophobic in the least. If anything it's about peer pressure and machismo, albeit in an unconventional, post-feminist context.

The movie's framework, two straight guys considering whether or not to have sex with each other for an Art/Porn movie, generates an absurd dialog. Does Art justify a willful, forced, deviation from the norm, or is a willful, forced, deviation from the norm automatically Art? The subtext is about moving out of your comfort zone, and your motivation for doing so.

I went into this not knowing what to expect. As a gay man, I resisted it, finding the plot line forced. But as it went on, I bought into it. I think it was the two main actors who sold it, primarily.

The premise sounds comic and coarse, but the storyline is actually subtle and gentle. Not easy to sell that kind of bait and switch.
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6/10
That famous heterosexual panic
katiemeyer197929 July 2009
I know of a situation very similar to the one presented in the film. This two guys challenge the other about having sex with each other without changing their own perceptions about who they were. It became a big joke because although they got very near, apparently, never ever happened. Funnily enough they both had, separately, an homosexual experience with a stranger. It is absurd to think that two human beings could not make love if there is a minimum of attraction, physical, intellectual, emotional. We have been brain washed about this factor. Homosexuals have no fear, not really, about straight sex but heterosexuals have an irrational fear of gay sex because, I believe, they are terrified of the fact they may like it or feel comfortable with it and then a flood of insecurities will follow. Under that umbrella "Humpday" gets it absolutely right. They don't get to it because of fear of themselves, plain and simple. But the whole thing could have been told in 30 minutes. Improvisations are fun if one has the sense to administrate and cut. Edit, edit and edit leaving the surprises alive and "Humpday" spends an inordinate amount of time saying the same things. However I had fun and the three leads are terrific.
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4/10
Goes slowly downhill
random_guy213 June 2009
What a disappointment. This film started off promisingly, with a very funny premise that is established in a semi-believable way. Sadly, that is really all there is to the film. The funny premise leads nowhere, it is just milked and milked and milked until the audience is no longer laughing, but rather just waiting for it to end. Believability also starts going out the window about halfway through the film, with characters acting and reacting in ways that no human would, but are required contrivances to keep the story rolling along.

I too was not a fan of the overall aesthetic of the film, a sort of forced naturalism, with almost exclusively hand-held camera work, awkward quick focus and zoom changes, and an improvised feel to the dialog. I felt this sharply contrasted with the highly contrived nature of much of the script, and I also feel that it is generally unpleasant anyway.
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Disappointing.
rookie22 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
As so many here have said, the film started great and promising but disappointed in the end.

What can we learn from it?

a) that the fear of homosexuality is engraved deeper in even most 'open-minded' men than they would expect b) that 'art' - if we expect the social role of art to be overcoming boundaries and to leave traditional ways of thinking behind - requires serious dedication, it doesn't always come easy.

But in both ways, the movie just illustrated the well-known facts, but didn't give us any new ideas, leave alone new ways of how to deal with them any better than Charlie Average would do. These embarrassing (for the viewer!), guilt-ridden conversations between Ben and his wife, the hysterical and annoying laughter of Andrew (or more of Joshua actually? ;-)) and the kamikaze-like ending of the movie just let me want I had saved my time for better things than to raise hopes I might take anything valuable with me from this movie.
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5/10
A movie about straight "dudes" playing chicken
Lawson16 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Humpday was a downhill slide.

It's a movie that's just about entirely conversation, and it began refreshing, with two seemingly open-minded straight men discussing doing a porn together as an art piece. As the movie progressed however, the characters devolved into two straight "dudes" playing chicken as to who's gonna back out of their project first.

And here's a big SPOILER.

Nothing happens. They don't do it. The movie ends. Honestly, after all the build- up, even if this denouement is more realistic, you'd think there'll be some kind of a payoff. Maybe you'd enjoy this movie for its witty banter, but I was a little cranky by its end because it was filmed with a hand-held cam. JezuzXrist, movies need to come with motion sickness advisory warnings.
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2/10
Stupidest, most-drawn out premise should've been a web series
nathanschubach10 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Oh great. A movie where NOTHING happens at all. Brilliant. This indie drama should have been canned, seriously. There's nothing about this movie that is redeemable except for the premise, which is almost deep enough to get a web series going but not a movie.

I'm not going to go through the synopsis, but the story is weak, childish, and really makes you question these characters' sanities. Why is the husband that interested in doing this porn film with his friend? It's not like we know his character to be big into art or anything, so how would he know what good art is or isn't? And his friend is basically Owen Wilson's character in Zoolander, who is a pretentious bearded hipster who, in reality, wouldn't go through with anything this bizarre. It all doesn't make sense.

Don't bother with it. Even for the indie movie scene, this movie is crap. There are some funny moments in the last 20 minutes of the film, but it goes nowhere and ends dry.
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7/10
Breaking down male homophobia
C-Younkin12 August 2009
Those thinking that "Humpday" is about any ordinary Wednesday are in for a rude awakening from this flick written and directed by Lynn Shelton. For everyone else, you know you're in for a brave and, at times, very funny account of two straight guys who decide to make a gay porno. The two guys are best friends Ben (Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard), whose lives have taken very different directions since High School. Ben is married to Anna (Alycia Delmore) with a baby on the way and Andrew is an artist and world traveler spending time with different women and experiences. The night after Andrew just shows up at Ben's doorstep looking to reconnect, the two find themselves at a party (at a house called Dionysus) thrown by Andrew's friend. Alcohol and the bong get passed around, guards are let down, and the conversation turns to sexual pleasures such as letting the dog lick peanut butter off you. Andrew mentions that he'd really like to make an erotic art film and Ben thinks that porn is a dime a dozen and if you really want to make something memorable, it has to be unique. The combination of these ideas plus being intoxicated leads to a pact where the two agree to have sex with one another. Can they do it? Will the two figure things out about themselves? Will Anna go along with it? The later question presents some very funny dance-around-the-subject moments. The developments in this movie about breaking down the walls of male homophobia are interesting. Actual nudity or sex is never shown nor does the movie fall back on crude humor but there is a lot of talk. Both guys feel like they have something to prove; Andrew that he is an uncompromising artist and Ben that he is not the boring, buttoned down family man that people think. Yet both are threatened, Andrew at a dildo introduced during a three-way and Ben at having feelings for a video store clerk. A scene where a basketball game between the two turns into a wrestling match says something for comfortable vs. uncomfortable physical intimacy between men and an honest conversation where Ben and Anna talk of their multi-faceted sexual needs not being met in this relationship alone are nice additions. Of course in the final scene the big question is broken down and analyzed, and some of the funniest stuff the movie has to offer is introduced. Will the physical fear become too real for the guys once hump day finally comes? The film is very talky and the camera work is grainy and dull-looking but what keeps the movie rolling are two very good performances from Duplass and Leonard. Duplass as the buttoned down, responsible Ben and Leonard as the wild-eyed, energetic Andrew; both display a willing but anxious chemistry of two guys who desperately want to be braver than they actually are. "Humpday" isn't always fun to watch but it's brave, funny, and interesting.
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8/10
How far are you willing to go for a friend?
moviemanMA24 October 2009
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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7/10
Interesting movie
preppy-323 June 2009
Movie about two college friends Andrew (Joshua Leonard) and Ben (Mark Duplass) getting together years after college. Ben has settled down and is happily married to Anna (Alycia Delmore). Andrew is single and somewhat wild. During one drunken night Andrew and Ben said they'll make a film of themselves for a sex film festival--they'll film themselves making love. The next day they regret it but neither one will back down. And who's going to tell Anna?

This sounds like it has the makings of a dirty adult comedy...but it isn't. There are some very funny parts in it but mostly they deal with the situation in a realistic manner. It works because the script is very well-written and refuses to back down or take the easy way out. It's also an adult movie--it doesn't talk down to its audience or dumb it down for teenagers. Add to that three great performances by all the leads--especially Delmore. This is the type of movie that you see with friends and discuss afterwards. I saw it at the Provincetown Film Festival and the reaction was mixed. Some people (like me) loved it. Others thought it backed down at the end (I disagree). A well-done thought-provoking film. It is a little too long but worth catching. Recommended.
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8/10
Humpday: Slightly too comfortable
Adam Pengelly18 January 2011
Being a masculine, wholly heterosexual man, I slipped into my pj's, lit and candle and settled down to watch a movie about 2 straight guys talk themselves into having gay sex.

Humpday is about two best friends, separated by different lifestyles, brought a little too close together again by a "I'm not backing out of this" style drunk/high bet about making a gay art sex video.

Watching these 2 superbly sculpted characters interact is a joy to anyone who has ever had a proper friend...whom they would sleep with on film for art if they had to. Their incredible well portrayed relationship begins to strangely rope you in to kinda wishing they'd go through with the deed, no matter how much the thought initially makes you feel all ewwwww inside.

A few times I caught myself relating a little too much to their plight, and I doubt I'm gonna be able to look at certain friends of mine again.

The script is bare and honest, perfectly delivered by the 3 main characters, and is a solid foundation for this almost documentary style movie.

All in all, Humpday with not only make you cringe to the corest of your core, but also make you ask a few questions about yourself that you really don't want to be asking.
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9/10
Hand In Glove
valis194913 January 2010
Two close friends (Ben, played by Mark Duplass, and Andrew, played by Joshua Leonard) grapple with the following dilemma. Can two straight men engage in gay sex, film it, and hope to win a prize at The HUMP! annual film festival in Seattle, Washington? HUMPDAY is a sly and witty examination of sexual attitudes which, at times, is as disconcerting as it is nearly hilarious. Ben is married, and he and his wife are about to start a family, while Andrew is a Free Spirit who sees himself as kind of a marginal player on the international art scene. One night at a party in a Free Love commune, the two men drunkenly come up with a possible brand-new approach to the Genre of Pornography. Why not have two straight men do a gay porn flic. This becomes the odd and unsettling conundrum for the movie. Is it possible for two straight men to engage in gay sex, or would the act itself preclude that they were gay at the outset? The viewer watches as Ben and Andrew squirm with the unstated (and frightening) query, am I gay, or closer truth, just exactly how straight am I? Maybe the real message of the film is that as much as we feel that we have completely settled on our sexual identity, the true nature of sex might be much more fluid. Personal sexual attitudes are not really laws which are set in stone, but maybe they are just guidelines which are subject to change and reinvention as circumstances change. The film doesn't resolve the issue, but it certainly presents a dizzying collection of cringe inducing questions which highlight this quandary. HUMPDAY could be seen as a possible companion piece to the wonderfully disquieting film, CHUCK AND BUCK.
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Great for those who need it, but not for people like me
jm1070111 February 2010
I came here after watching it yesterday to write a review of Humpday, but when I found a few excellent reviews already here I changed my mind. Now I've changed my mind again. Although existing reviews express many of my problems with this movie, they do not adequately cover the most important issue.

Although reviewers who liked this movie have correctly noted that it is not about being gay--not even about "going" gay--this movie does present a vivid and disturbing picture of most straight men's attitude toward male homosexuality. To them, sex between two men is deeply repugnant, grossly unnatural and disgusting. The prospect of themselves touching another man sexually is so disturbing that they pee in their pants and act like terrified babies. Is that funny? Not to me. Is seeing it enacted brilliantly on screen enlightening and liberating? Not to me. I've seen it all my life.

I'm going to assume (because it's almost surely true) that the vast majority of Humpday's ardent fans are women, both straight and lesbian, and probably some straight men who consider themselves liberated and enlightened enough to laugh at the foibles of their less enlightened brothers or even at themselves in their own pre-liberation pasts. I suppose I have to allow also for a few self-loathing gay men, because I know they're out there. I'm going to address this review to those women and straight men; the self-loathing gays I'll pray for.

The fact that at least one of the men in Humpday is himself relatively enlightened does not make the movie's offenses any less offensive; it makes them worse, because it also shows how shallow and unreliable that enlightenment actually is. Those straight men who under ideal conditions are wonderfully tolerant of male homosexuality run away in disgust if it gets too close to them personally. It's not unlike the old liberal hypocrisy of advocating racial integration as long as they don't try to move in next door or marry our daughter.

It's never wrong to expose hypocrisy or shallow virtue. It's never wrong to shine the light of truth into the dark, nasty recesses of fear and hatred in all our lives. Humpday does that brilliantly. For the billions of men who are like the two in this move, watching it could be a blessing of incalculable value. And I would never want to deprive the long-suffering and universally abused female majority of any opportunity to see how fundamentally flawed and foolish men can be. I just don't enjoy watching it myself, and here's why:

I am a gay man. Having sex with another man is as natural and healthy to me as breathing. The prospect of sex with a woman is as unnatural and repugnant to me as sex with each other is to the guys in Humpday. But I would never want a woman to have to sit through a movie that shows her brutally and graphically how very disgusting she is to me sexually. However well-adjusted she may be, being told that she disgusts me could hurt her, unnecessarily, and I wouldn't want to do that.

That's exactly how Humpday makes me feel. It reminds me that the world is full of very powerful and likable men who find me disgusting, who would rather die than have to be like me or even risk seeming to be like me, and who would rather have ME die than get too close to them. What I AM disgusts and repels them.

It doesn't matter that the movie is not advocating that attitude. By simply reminding me how prevalent that attitude is, it digs into old wounds and causes me pain that does not add anything good to me.

I don't NEED to be reminded how much straight men despise me underneath whatever civilized veneer they may have put on, any more than African Americans need to be reminded how most in the white majority REALLY feel about them inside. It's painful, and although it IS important information, I'm not one of the ones who needs to see it.

So I appreciate Humpday's artistic excellence. It is one of the most powerful and well-realized movies I've ever seen. But it's not for me or for anyone like me, any more than a beautifully executed movie about rape would entertain or enlighten a victim of rape.
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7/10
Get over the hump and it's an interesting film
Movie_Muse_Reviews18 January 2010
To set the record straight -- maybe pun intended -- "Humpday" is not a true gay and lesbian film, nor is it a "bromantic comedy" with homophobic slapstick. Lynn Shelton's film is simple: what if two best heterosexual guy friends somehow got it in their heads that filming themselves having sex with each other would be a good idea? "Humpday" explores the bond between men and the difficulty they have with intimacy, particularly when its sexual in nature.

Ben (Mark Duplass) is a recently married man planning on starting a family when his old best friend, the free-spirited Andrew (Joshua Leonard) shows up at his house in the middle of the night. At a party, the two learn about an amateur porn competition and come up with the idea that two straight best friends having sex with each other would make a real artistic statement. Although they laugh at the idea the next day, their machismo of not wanting to back out in addition to some internally buried needs they feel the film would fulfill turn the idea into a serious project.

The most prominent feature of "Humpday" is its amateur documentary film-making style. Shelton is filming like she's the camerawoman in the Real World house making a reality show. There's an impressive realism with the dialogue and the way the characters relate to one another and it only lets up in a few spots. The story does a great job convincing you that this could theoretically happen even though it never would. I don't think under any other set of circumstances other than the ones Shelton has imagined would something like this legitimately take place. Duplass, Leonard and Alycia Delmore as Ben's wife do their best to convince you otherwise. They really seem like legitimate people in real-life relationships.

At many points in the film, Ben and Andrew address why they're doing this. It's an important question to the film and one that should also be asked of Shelton too. At times "Humpday" is supposed to be funny but there's a lot of it which is meant to be taken seriously. You start to wonder yourself -- namely if you're a straight man -- if you'd be able to go through with it which is one of the film's great strengths. At other times, you kind of wonder why the issue has been blown up this much in the first place.

I think Shelton made this film because she wanted to explore the male bond and this was really the way to pull and push at it and manipulate it: by creating these circumstances. The film is surprisingly perceptive with some interesting insights into relationships but it gets a bit too hung up on two guys talking about having sex with each other and will they or won't they.

"Humpday" is an LGBT film in the sense that it comes from a very sexually open and progressive mindset. There are a couple women in the film for example, one played by Shelton in fact, that are in a relationship but one is into Andrew as well. In that sense LGBT characters are a significant part of the film, but they mostly add to the discussion of sexuality and relationships as seen through these two best friends. Lose any expectations that the poster art and brief summary provide and "Humpday" will leave you pleasantly surprised.

~Steven C

Visit my site http://moviemusereviews.com
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Such a copout
Boyd11 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
How old was this director ? ,,, The fact is these two guys would have done it ... Basically they just woosed out ... And I think the director did too ... The guys obviously should have just slept together and hugged years ago and seen if it had led anywhere ... It maybe would , it maybe wouldn't ... But if they had done it like that as an art project, they'd have gone with drugs and viagra and made it a laugh ... And they'd have shagged ... This was a total copout for financial reasons ... And the fact is that the film content probably put off all the homophobes anyway ... So everyone that saw it was rooting ( sorry Australia ) for the guys to shag anyway When are people going to have the guts to make films again without worrying about profit If this had been made by a better director than this, like John Cameron Mitchell, it would just have been a single thread in a more interesting film rather than stretching it out for 90 minutes and not having the guts to give it a proper payout in the end A real lost chance
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4/10
One Straight Thumb up, One Gay Thumb DOWN!
kobeyno23 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
You know we try not to be biased from day to day but honestly speaking I think the writer/producer etc. of this film kind of was!. The good: obviously straight producers tackling the big G word. This is always a good thing because let's face it is heterosexual fears and concerns that need to be dealt with regarding this issue by and large understandably so. The Bad: But when you do deal with the issue you MUST do it ALL the way with NO half stepping, faint hearts or even limp wrists not to mention very little bias! What am I saying? Simply this the film was ultimately TOTALLY unrealistic & I need to add not healthy in a psychologically sound sense. So what am I saying? When the two straight dudes go to DO THE DAMN THING! they just so obviously are NOT even TRYING to do the damn thing. I will give my straight dudes this much credit; in my opinion & experience when you REALLY set out to do something you damn well do it FOR REAL! Granted there are many other experiences BUT...here we are ready to DO it!....where is the obligatory alcohol?? weed?? or even straight porn??? You are doing something you admittedly are afraid to do, sober??? Every man knows straight or gay when you go to do the do and you need some kind of inducer it is ALWAYS about the alcohol, jeez even the ladies know that trick! The approach of the two main characters was completely & utterly unrealistic! Honestly this is where I thought the bias came in. Let's just say it this way: SOME women revel, trump and glory in proclaiming just how supposedly "dumb" men truly are as compared to women. To Lynn: WE HEAR YOUR PROCLAMATION LOUD & CLEARLY IN THIS FILM!; These men are far too stupid to know that generally speaking it is WE(men) who are probably the ones who invented being totally smashed or WAY passed intoxicated when doing something we either fear or are at odds with. I mean this is Male Self-Deception 101! So OK! our two studs get a giant "F" in reality for this alone! NEXT: if both you studs are recovering alcoholics and you want to TRY the do, if not DO the do, wasn't it even mentioned in one of your very own lines, something about taking pills if necessary? Well now that's the idea! Where were they??? and maybe I am a stupid male too but I was under the impression you meant Viagra so hey problem solved! The big scene of the movie was SO completely and totally, unrealistically BUT determinedly & I dare say perhaps heterosexually-biased and devoid of ANY sensuality or eroticism that it is just AWESOME!...well in the uncomplimentary sense of the word to be exact! Look the gross realistic idea is simply this: It is at the very least about getting off for most dudes when the heart and soul are not ready, willing or able to be involved; can I get an Amen on that fellas? All it really took, all else failing or death-grip-determinedly NOT present, for starters was a simple hand job! Come on now let's get real and be adults take a dunk or get off the bowl. It's like these guys didn't even have penises! And Finally that flat liner of an ending, just WHO is that tired, dreary, dismal, bleak music in the background playing for? I would have respected the writer and the film a little more if the music was true to the supposed emotion of the character or at least how he was portrayed in that scene. It should have been happy carefree and up-beat if all's well ends well and no bias was apparent. Perhaps I am reading too much into it but I think that sad score was meant for the projected demographic horde of disappointed homosexuals who walked out of the theater feeling; my whole life experience has just been reduced and made equivalent to the act of "bungee jumping" which is allegedly more meaningful than connecting on any deep and intimate level with another consenting human being? This film failed on so many levels it's just a shame it could have been SO much more true to itself at least!. When the more eager of the two characters speaks of his long lost fleeting attraction to a male video store clerk in his past you just KNOW that is as real as it gets. Unfortunately that is as real as it gets. I feel the writers so hell bent on downplaying real life human nature to the point of being OK here I go again "psychologically dis-earnest"; let's be real that fleeting attraction doesn't just go away or disappear it can be ignored & pushed down for a lifetime true! but these guys were here in a position to show that it's really not a big deal to face your fears. I mean it was their movie! they took the stand! they were cocked and ready to tackle the subject, they had the motives, they had the excuses, they even had the wife's go ahead to let what's inside of you OUT as long as it's not bigger than what we have! and what do they do? they wimp out before our very eyes in a most disappointing, unrealistic, biased & homophobic way. Go on world live in denial just be straight at ALL costs even reality I think ends up being the overall message of the film. Yes I bought into it you got my dollars but I don't buy it Lynn! perhaps "Humpday part 2 - the Festival Returns" will deal with the inevitable?
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7/10
One of the better movies at Sundance
jonahsavant11 February 2009
There is some sweetness to Humpday, and that is perhaps it's greatest quality.

I am not a big fan of the mumblecore movement because it seems to attract and be made up of a lot of young people who don't know what to do with themselves. Out of that comes a defensive cleverness that I find dull and uncreative. That said, this movie has some heart and doesn't take itself too seriously. So, good. Hopefully others will follow suit.

I don't think there is much more to be said. Duplass and Josh Leonard are solid. Lynn Shelton holds up an interesting mirror to her group: Self-conscious anal control freaks posing as relaxed hep cats. Yes, true that.

Hopefully this will be the last porn movie for a while, because not much interesting has come out of the subject matter.

Then again, I'm an old man(44), and what do I know?
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9/10
Why this movie is a winner
grybop23 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Humpday is supposedly about two straight guys agreeing to have sex with each other. Well, yes and no. Let me start by saying what this movie is not about, since both the title and the poster are completely misleading. Humpday is not a comedy - at least not a comedy in the Judd Apatow sense. There are some hilarious scenes though. Humpday is not about homophobia - everyone in the film seems to be accepting homosexuality as one more way to express your sexuality, nothing more, nothing less. Even when the wife of one of the main characters is informed of his intention to have sex with his best buddy, not once does she call him anything derogatory. She may be upset, but doesn't even wonder if he's gay at all.

So what is Humpday about?

It's about being 30+, settled down, conformed with society's norms and accepting the restrictions set within a heteronormal relationship or marriage. Or about being 30+ and living life like there's no tomorrow, enjoying yourself to the fullest, but also having that annoying little voice inside your head reminding you you're irresponsible and incapable of long-term commitment.

These two worlds clash in the movie.

When, half-jokingly, the two friends challenge each other to film themselves having sex for the sake of art, each of them has different lines to cross - apart from the obvious one, and apparently the one that matters the least: that they're straight. Ben feels the need to step outside his comfort zone and explore his "other sides", not necessarily sexually. When the chance comes to meet new people, smoke some pot and relax away from his wife, he grabs it like a man in the desert finding water. Andrew sees the challenge to hump his buddy as a chance to finally see a project to an end and prove to himself he's capable of doing something bigger than him.

At the end, it doesn't matter that they're both male, though. It could have been any woman they're not attracted to instead. The fact that they're best friends is their biggest obstacle, as it becomes more obvious in the final scene. The plot is clever enough to keep the viewers interested with its "will they or won't they" premise, steering away from many clichés you'd expect to see in such a movie. The dialogue is extremely well-written and takes the viewer away from the fact that he's watching an ultra-low budget, dialogue-driven film. The acting is amazingly good as well, so much it feels like there was no script in the first place - that's how naturally the lines are delivered.

Little does it matter whether Ben and Andrew do each other in the rear in the end. The movie gives you enough food for thought for a good while after the credits have rolled. These are characters that will stay in your head for a long time.
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8/10
Don't get fooled by the title
nnenok5 February 2013
When I decided to watch this movie, I was in the mood for some stupid American jackass film and Humpday, with its title and the poster picture appeared spot on. I was in for an unexpected (but very pleasing) surprise. This movie is actually slow, indie and, put simply, nice. It strips off all the douchebagy nonsense someone would expect out of a movie where two straight dudes decide to get down on each other and instead offers talks, discussions and ideas on what brings someone to get to this idea and to go through (or not) with it.

Apart from this, all the three leads are absolutely great. I'm pretty sure more than half of the movie is improvised, you can literally feel the nervousness and tension and chemistry among the cast, and I wish I could have a relationship like the one between Ben and Anna.
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8/10
Funny movie with great acting and a ton of humanity
symmachos12 July 2009
I just saw one of the premiere screenings of this film in Seattle, with director Lynn Shelton on hand afterward for Q & A. I found this a very funny movie with refreshingly real characters, and the rest of the large & enthusiastic audience at the screening seemed to agree. The director chose a highly unlikely scenario -- two straight guys setting out on a dare to film themselves having sex with each other -- and then handled it with total humanity and authenticity.

Watching the film I thought it was obvious that Shelton followed the same method that Larry David uses in *Curb Your Enthusiasm* -- i.e., she wrote out a detailed scenario and then had the actors improvise the individual scenes. The director confirmed this in the Q & A, adding that she developed the story in collaboration with the three principal actors and then shot the film over a period of 10 days in completely real-life settings. The actors had the freedom to do long takes, which were shot with two digital cameras to ensure coverage. The results were edited down to a well-paced 90-minute comedy.

In *Humpday* the fourth wall that they always talk about in theater completely disintegrates. I felt like I was right there in the same room with these people, whose "performances" were indistinguishable from reality. Shelton's directorial technique takes cinematic honesty to a new level, and I think we will be seeing more and more of her approach in the future.

"Mumblecore" is neither a fair nor accurate description of this movie. The dialogue is articulate and fully audible, and the portrayals are carefully thought through. Just as inaccurate is the media characterization of Shelton as the "female Apatow." Far from celebrating bromance, Shelton and her actors live it through and live it out.

Although deconstruction has come to seem an awfully dated concept, it still provides a fine description of what Shelton does to Apatow in *Humpday.* Having suffered through *Pineapple Express,* a chuckle-free exercise in self-indulgence, I gotta say that when it comes to producing laughs, Shelton now has the edge on the man who brought us the *40-Year-Old Virgin.*
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1/10
Why this is one of the worst films i have ever seen
tomscott7118 April 2010
It was a total waste of time, thank you so much lynn shelton for a truly appalling movie. All 'relationships' between the actors felt incredibly fake and forced. i actually felt myself cringing throughout the film and the only laugh worth having was to smother my anger at having bought this movie. It was simply a sequence of terrible, tremendously boring, pointless and far too long conversations mashed together to produce a movie. Honestly please spare yourself from watching this film. I have seen many bad movies (carnasaur 3, trolls 2 etc), they, however, benefited from the 'so bad it was funny' effect. this was simply ****. oh i almost forgot to mention the film work is really really really bad and looks like its from a hand held camera. DON'T WATCH
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Wrongly marketed
Gordon-1110 December 2009
This film is about two guy friends who have to deal with their drunken pledge to make a porn movie with each other.

I think "Humpday" is wrongly marketed as a comedy, which makes viewers expect things which are not in the film. The first half is far too slow to be a comedy, and the second half is far too heavy on words. The pacing and the tone are just not right to be a comedy. It might be entertaining to see two guys trying to work their way out of the awkward situation without having to sacrifice their reputation, but there is simply not enough material to fill 90 minutes. The film stretches for far too long, and it gets quite boring. I think it would have been better marketed as an indie drama.
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8/10
there's more to humpday than the sex plot
wndvrst16 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Most reviews posted about this movie rate Humpday poorly because they all make the mistake of focusing excessively on the sex plot. if the slightly subversive sex plot - two straight guys decide to have sex to enter a porn competition - is the reason why people want to see Humpday, the movie will indeed disappoint because that plot line - removed from the rest of the film - can indeed get very boring very quickly.

But Humpday is only apparently about sex messing up with the prototypical bromance. rather, it is a film about missed opportunities: about Ben's second thoughts about his picket fence life and impending squareness, about Andrew's fears that his on-the-road lifestyle might be a cover-up for never being able to actually realize anything substantial. although the movie ends on a triumphant note where each character is reassured of his own choices, in a way they are both failures, simply because none of their current lives can fit in all the different - sometimes contradictory - selves they imagine themselves to be. humpday is perhaps not the most sophisticated way to express these ideas, but it certainly brings to life something more than two straight guys trying to have sex in a mockumentary indie.
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