Ben (Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard) are old college buddies who haven’t seen each other for a decade. At a drunken house party in Seattle, the straight duo comes up with a radical proposition – they will have sex together in a film, which will be submitted into Hump! an amateur pornography festival. In their own words, ‘It’s not gay, it’s beyond gay. It’s not porn, it’s art.’ In the cold light of day though, certain obstacles remain. How is Ben going to tell his wife Anna (Alycia Delmore) about the project, and who, in baseball parlance, is going to catch and who will pitch?
Writer-director Lynn Shelton has in the low budget Humpday fashioned a very amusing and observant study of male insecurities. Beneath the bear-hugs, backslaps and mutual claims of ‘I totally respect you’, our bromance protagonists are far from confident in themselves: passive-aggressive Ben is sensitive to criticisms that his life has become drearily suburban, whilst artistic underachiever Andrew fears that he’s not the nomadic free-spirit that others assume, and their pig-headed competitiveness is entertainingly illustrated in a bruising game of one-on one basketball. And the heavily improvised performances of the leads, not least in the climactic hotel room scene, offset the film’s functional visual style.
GFT, Glasgow and Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri 18 Dec.