Humpday opens with a pair of breeders in bed. A youngish married couple, Ben (Mark Duplass) and Anna (Alycia Delmore), confess that they’re too tired to procreate that night. As if in response, the doorbell rings at 2 a.m., and Ben’s long-lost college buddy Andrew (Joshua Leonard) stumbles in from deepest Mexico. Anna watches the unexpected bromantic action with grim incredulity. Reuniting an uptight married man with a footloose old buddy, Lynn Shelton’s third feature offers a (much) more extreme version of Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy, also a sort of buddy movie, also shot in the Pacific Northwest. In this case, the lost weekend is steeped in sexual anxiety. Prompted by news of an amateur porn festival, Ben finds himself in a mad art project, in dude-on-dude action, totally straight yet somewhere “beyond gay.” Humpday delivers some excellent situation comedy, but the movie is actually less a satiric view of homophobia than macho. Appreciative as Shelton may be of her dudes, she has another agenda. The guys have been freaked by a manifestation of assertive female sexuality. As for what happens? Suffice it to say that, last seen beating their midriffs like apes, Ben and Andrew confront the fear but not the desire.

Categories: Movies