Lisa Schwarzbaum
July 08, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Humpday

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
94 minutes
Wide Release Date
07/10/09
performer
Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore
director
Lynn Shelton
genre
Comedy

We gave it an A-

The sexual joke in the wily indie comedy Humpday involves a couple of straight guys, old college pals a decade out of school, who, after a night of stag partying among free-loving lesbian babes, make a plan to have sex together on camera as their transgressive entry in an amateur porn contest. Ben (Mark Duplass, mainstay of the mumblecore school of shambling, talk-driven relationship dramas like The Puffy Chair) is a married, working homeowner; Andrew (The Blair Witch Project‘s Joshua Leonard) is a single wanderer and would-be artist. How would two hetero dudes, you know, do it? And if they did it, could the sex be classified as, maybe, beyond gay? Beyond porn? Would such a movie count as…art? And, oh, by the way, what would Ben’s wife, Anna, say?

Anna’s thoughts matter because, as played by the wonderfully nuanced newcomer? Alycia Delmore, the no-bull responses of this perceptive woman are a key to Humpday‘s sly, wised-up feminist outlook. Writer-director Lynn Shelton sweetly, mischievously tracks Ben and Andrew as they jaw, shoot hoops, roughhouse, and hug it out. But for the filmmaker to speak truth, all Anna has to do is give her husband an exasperated look far too realistic to appear in any porn movie. A?

See all of this week’s reviews

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