Friday, July 24, 2009

Insert Bromance Joke Here

While I'm on air trashing the limp love story that is The Ugly Truth, I wanted to take a moment to recommend a very different kind of love story: Humpday.

Love might be a way of over-selling it, but it's certainly about a bond. It's a guy thing, two friends, still connected who through one night of drunken dares find themselves taking their relationship to another level.

Ben (on the left) is a regular guy whose a traffic systems analyst. He and his young wife are trying for a kid, their life is pretty stable, until Andrew (on the right) drops in. Andrew is an old friend from years back. Now he's a bit of a vagabond, trekking through South America, trying to refashion himself as an artist.

The two guys still have a connection, and the film, with it's relaxed mumblecore style catches the uncomfortable feeling of friends who are still linked, but have also grown separate ways. Ben doesn't want to be seen as a sellout, with his perfect house and coffee table books on the coffee table. Andrew is all-too-ready to taunt and tease, but also not as easy going as his comb-free look suggests.

After on night with bit of drink and bit of pot, the two guy back themselves in a corner. Somehow they propose to make a porn film for the alternative film festival Humpfest.

The catch, it will be a porn film featuring two straight guys, Andrew and Ben. The morning after each try to let the other back out of the project, but Ben in particular is tired of being boxed in. In a mix of bravado and bro-ness they stumble forward.

The quiet brilliance of this seemly unworkable concept is the final 20 minutes that takes place in a dingy hotel room. Part of you is rooting for boys, as this event becomes something bigger than the two of them. Another part really really doesn't want to see them do it. And that's where the comedy comes from. You know they don't want to do it, but giving up is a failure neither of are willing to face.

If you're a fan of small films, simple scripts and honest performances, take a gander at this one. Keep in mind director Lynn Shelton wrote the script but it was mainly an outline. So what happens in that hotel room? That's all the actors. Smart small stuff worth your time.

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