Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Dec 15 2009There’s a revolutionary conceit behind ‘Humpday’, and it’s not the tawdry question of what would happen if two straight dudes had sex on camera. If all Lynn Shelton’s film offered was a crude ‘will they, won’t they?’ dramatic striptease, the movie would soon grow tiresome. Which is where the real high concept comes in: what if we took the laidback, stunted heroes of a Judd Apatow comedy and stranded them in the too-cool-for-school environs of a zero-budget mumblecore romance? And then got them to have sex on camera?
Office drone Ben (Mark Duplass) is happy with his humdrum existence until he attends a party with long-lost buddy Andrew (Joshua Leonard). Eager to prove he can still cut loose, Ben agrees to take part in an upcoming DIY porn film festival: having sex with Andrew.
Shelton’s sardonic eye for the rituals of masculine bonding is unerring: as the pressure on our heroes builds, the deal develops from a stoned bet into a bizarre test of manhood. The characters are wholly believable: is Andrew, with his globetrotting past and smooth line with the ladies really more ‘manly’ than homebody Ben, with his picket fence and steady income? But what finally lifts ‘Humpday’ above macho junk like ‘The Hangover’ is its all-inclusive warmth: for all their adolescent self-delusion, Shelton truly loves these characters. And after 90 minutes, so will you.
Author: Tom Huddleston