Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Hump Day"

Hump Day

It might surprise viewers to know that the writer/director of "Humpday" is a woman. Lynn Sheldon’s independent feature is almost exclusively about men, and the awkward line where homosexuality and homosociality meet. Ben (Mark Duplass) is a newly wed happily contemplating the prospect of children when his wilder college buddy, Andrew (Joshua Leonard), shows up at his door. Soon after, Andrew finds a party of non-conformist artists and invites Ben along. Late in the night, after untucking his shirt and bong toking, Ben agrees to participate with Andrew in a home-video porn festival, Humpfest, claiming it is part of a larger statement of artistic integrity, straight men having gay sex.
What begins as intoxicated party babble, begins to take shape as a possible venture. The men question the project’s symbolic value; for Andrew it will mean the completion of a project, for Ben it will prove he is larger than his current lifestyle's suburban values. Still both men refuse to directly confront what their desire to participate in Humpfest might suggest about their sexuality. Lynn Sheldon teases the question, and makes every glance between the men questionable. This ambiguity troubles traditional audience expectations of male friendship, and satirizes the typical buddy flic. Nevertheless, the film is wrought with the purest cinema comedy, straight men pretending not to be…or perhaps, the reverse.

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