INsite Magazine

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Humpday Review: More Than Just Brotherly Love


A film about two men having sex isn’t something you’d normally find on the marquis of your local movie theater. However, such a film is gracing the screen of the Hippodrome Theatre for a weeklong engagement starting on tomorrow (Fri., Sept. 18). Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the comedy Humpday is an unexpectedly deep look at friendship tinged with homoeroticism.

Ben, played by Mark Duplass, lives an ordinary suburban life with his wife Anna (Alycia Delmore) that is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of his free-wheeling college buddy, Andrew (Joshua Leonard). When Andrew and Ben get drunk at a party, they challenge each other to make a film for the upcoming porn festival, Humpfest. The only catch is that these two straight men will be having sex with each other, in order to make an “art film” that is “beyond gay.”

Similar comedies like 2008’s Zach and Miri Make a Porno emphasize crudity, with splashy and shocking sexual sequences. Never to disappoint, Humpday does have its share of vulgar humor, but its sexually charged plot is almost an excuse for an unconventional analysis of Ben and Andrew’s relationship rather than graphic sex.

Under the direction of Lynn Shelton, winner of an Independent Spirit award for this film, Humpday creates an intimate and honest portrait of Middle America that captures the humor, heart and desire that lies behind every good friendship. In a time when gender politics are so controversial, this film is not afraid to bend boundaries and preconceptions to question the laws of attraction. In its soul-searching view of the interplay between love and sex, Humpday proves that a film about porn can truly be high art.

Humpday premieres at the Hippodrome tomorrow at 6:30 and 8:30pm. Additional shows Sat. 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30pm; Sun. 2:30, 4:30 and 7pm; Wed. 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30pm and Thurs. 6:30 and 8:30pm. Tickets are available at the Hipp's box office or online at

*The first person to e-mail gets two free tix to Humpday at The Hipp!

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