F.I.L.M of the Week (August 2, 2013)

2 08 2013

As soon as I tell you the plot of Lynn Shelton’s “Humpday,” my selection for the “F.I.L.M. of the Week” (First-Class, Independent Little-Known Movie), you’ll immediately jump to unfair conclusions about it. You’ll inevitably start to imagine what it must be like and decide it’s not your cup of tea. I know because I, too, judged it unfairly based on the story. But once you get past that, I promise you that it’s a fantastic and well-observed comedy that feels incredibly real.

“Humpday” is about two heterosexual male friends, one of which is married, considering making a gay porn video.

While I don’t want to say too much, don’t worry, this is NOT a pornographic movie. There’s no sex, not even artistically or obliquely done. There’s no nudity, either, because the film is not about the pornographic film industry (I’d recommend Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” if you want to see that, though). “Humpday” is a movie about relationships between people and the nature of intimacy.

Old friends Ben (Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard) reunite after many years and find themselves locked into a dare to film an amateur scene for an adult film festival. Neither wants to be the one that backs down, so what ensues is a series of conversations between friends and lovers about what the basis of the ties that bind them to each other.

Shelton’s film takes an unconventional approach to get to these central questions of interpersonal connections, but the result is incredibly rewarding drama and insightful wisdom. “Humpday” is all brains and heart – no skin.

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